SA and Federal governments sign VET Fee-help agreement
The Commonwealth and South Australian Governments have announced a bilateral agreement to reform the State's vocational education and training system.
The agreement, signed by Minister for Skills, Senator Chris Evans, and South Australian Premier, Jay Weatherill, is a joint commitment that will guarantee students over the age of 16 a government funded training place, provide support for the disadvantaged, make the system more transparent and improve quality and choice.
Under the agreement, Federal Government will provide government subsidised Diploma and Advanced Diploma students in South Australia the opportunity to defer payment of their upfront fees through study-now-pay-later loans, similar to what is currently available for university students.
"By 2015, South Australia alone will need an extra 29,500 people qualified to a Diploma or Advanced Diploma level to meet the growing demand for skilled workers," Senator Evans said.
"Until now, many students have been locked out of achieving these qualifications because they couldn't afford the fees - our reforms are breaking down those barriers.
"Through VET FEE-HELP, students won't have to pay their fees until they have a job and are earning a decent income."
The agreement will also include:
- Entitlements to subsidised training for eligible students, linked to designated skill sets and qualifications, at approved providers;
- A shift to a student centred funding model with a focus on student support and outcomes for learners;
- A partnership with industry, education providers, unions and the community with a focus on skills demands;
- A commitment to increase the number of apprentice and trainee commencements and completions, including support for the employer and employee; and
- Improved partnerships between universities and TAFE SA to ensure more effective credit transfer arrangements.