The Victorian government has announced it will make 30 TAFE courses available for free in the upcoming state budget in an effort to address that state’s skills shortages.

The free courses will be those that prepare workers for the state’s most in-demand jobs – including in the construction, aged care, and disability sectors.

The announcement is good news for the aged care industry, said Renee Briggs-Gordon, Assistant Manager of MAS National.

Waiving the tuition fees will mean that people who might have been considering working in aged care but felt they couldn’t afford the training, will now be able to enter the industry, she said.

“Because of the courses they have chosen, it will help the sector grow,” she said.

Ms Briggs-Gordon said it’s likely that once the free courses come in, MAS will have more candidates to offer aged care homes looking for new staff.

Briggs-Goron cautioned that some course costs will remain, such as material costs.

The cost to the government of funding the free places will be $172 million, according to government statements, and the government will also inject $304 million into TAFE for new classrooms and more than 30,000 additional places.

In the aged care sector, Certificate IV in Ageing Support will be provided for free in Victoria through TAFE from 1 January 2019.

No residential restrictions or other obligations will be placed on enrolling students.

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