GEELONG students and jobseekers are getting into training through the Victorian Government’s Free TAFE initiative, with more than 600 students so far enrolling in courses at The Gordon – up 28 per cent compared with those courses at the same time last year.
Speaking at The Gordon during a visit last week, Minister for Training and Skills Gayle Tierney said more enrolments were expected at The Gordon as well as at TAFEs across the state as part of the $172 million program that made 30 priority TAFE courses and 20 pre-apprenticeship courses tuition-fee free from this year.
Almost 3,000 students who signed up through the Free TAFE program have started their training in January at TAFEs across Victoria – nearly three times as many who started training in the same courses in January 2018 – with more than a third in regional Victoria.
Students can save up to $2,500 for some preapprenticeship courses, up to $5,000 for Certificate IV courses, and more than $10,000 for high-cost courses such as the Diploma in Nursing or Diploma in Building and Construction.
“Free TAFE will make it easier for Geelong students to get the training they need to get jobs across a range of industries that are crying out for more skilled workers,” Ms Tierney said.
Ms Tierney also announced a new partnership between the Victorian government, The Gordon, and Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food project.
The project will see the Ministry of Food move from its Moorabool Street campus into The Gordon’s Geelong campus, and involve 18 cookery and hospitality apprentices and trainees deliver courses that give people the skills and know-how to buy fresh food and turn it into tasty and healthy meals.
Gordon chief executive officer Lisa Line said the Ministry of Food was an important initiative to continue.
“Having had over 4,000 participants undertake the training, many individuals and families have benefited with a new appreciation for healthier food choices, along with some of those brilliant Jamie Oliver tips on how to make delicious food easily. Now based at The Gordon, our apprentices and trainees are really excited to be a part of Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food project.”