We welcome news that the Australian Government is splurging on a higher education relief package which is slashing the cost of study in areas such as nursing, teaching counselling, IT and science.
Those six-month online courses start in May with fees reduced by more than 50% across the board as the Government looks to shore up the expected skills demand for the ‘new economy’ post-COVID-19.
But does that really help us mid-lifers today? Will it impress our current employer enough to keep us on, or be enough to get us an interview next week for a new job? Can we still afford the fees, even at the discounted rates?
We’ll roll out more details on these courses when they come to hand, but in the meantime, we suggest trying your local TAFE to see what they’re already offering in terms of subsidised and/or free study you can take advantage of right now.
A quick search of our NSW TAFE site revealed some pretty impressive options the NSW Government has put in place since the virus hit.
There are already five fee-free modules for those eligible, each with a number of specific subjects under each; Develop Administration Skills (four options), Enhance Your Digital Impact (six), Grow Health and Medical Knowledge (two), Improve Leadership Performance (two), and Practical Business Skills (six).
Take, for example, one of those choices under Enchance Your Digital Impact, the statement of attainment in websites for small business.
The online course starts when you’re ready and only requires approximately two hours of online study, each week, for your enrolment duration of 13 weeks. You can increase the hours of online study per week to complete the course sooner.
You can also expect to complete approximately two hours of additional study each week outside of class hours, including independent study, research, work experience and assignments.
Not much of a commitment that could have a pretty good pay-off.
To be eligible for any of the fully-subsidised spots, you must live or work in NSW, be an Australian citizen, or permanent resident, or New Zealand citizen, or humanitarian visa holder.
TAFE NSW also has a Mature Age Workers program which allows those eligible a fee-free place in a Smart and Skilled Certificate II, Certificate III or Certificate IV qualification, and a Women in Business initiative that offers a fully subsidised online program for women who are looking to establish a business.