Smart & Skilled: training for the future of NSW

15 May 2014

Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli today released the 2015 prices and fees for the training courses and apprenticeships to be funded through the Smart and Skilled vocational education and training reforms.

"Vocational education changes lives and is essential for the success of our economy. We are determined to ensure as many people as possible can access training of the highest quality and we are giving students choice about where they study," Mr Piccoli said.

"A new way of determining training prices and student fees will make sure training in NSW is targeted to those who most need skills to find employment and to support economic growth.

"I am also releasing the 2015 Skills List which sets out priority areas for training. These qualifications will attract direct government subsidies to make sure training priorities match the needs of the economy."  

The NSW Government will continue to heavily subsidise training for those people who are seeking their first qualification.

  • Students doing a foundation skills course will be subsidised for up to 90% of the cost of the course;
  • Students doing their first Certificate II will be subsided for an average of 75% of the cost of the course;
  • Disadvantaged students and low income earners will receive exemptions and fee concessions;
  • Aboriginal students will pay no fees for government subsidised courses and students with a disability will pay no fee for their first qualification of the calendar year; and
  • Those eligible for concessions will pay a flat fee for the whole course -- ranging from $80 for a foundation skills course to $240 for a Certificate lV.

The changes follow a COAG agreement signed with the Commonwealth Government to introduce an entitlement to entry level training and improve training quality which delivers Commonwealth funding of more than $500 million to NSW.

"The new fees will mean 46,000 more students will be able to train in 2015 than if we did not make these changes," Mr Piccoli said.

"From 2015 students will pay a set fee per qualification, rather than per year. This is fairer as students will know exactly what their costs will be regardless of how long they take to complete their qualification."

Fees in NSW will be lower than the maximum fees in other states such as Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia.

Training prices and student fees for a qualification will be the same regardless of the provider chosen, ensuring competition is based on quality, not price.

Mr Piccoli said the Smart and Skilled reforms will provide greater choice, more flexibility and improve the State's skills base.

"The Smart and Skilled reform package will increase the capacity of individual students to choose the qualification they want either through a TAFE NSW Institute, Adult and Community Education provider or an approved private training provider," he said.

"TAFE NSW and Adult Community Education will continue to receive public funding to support their vital roles in meeting industry and community needs. I am confident in the ability of TAFE and the community education sector to thrive in a competitive environment and continue to deliver quality services."

Further information on Smart and Skilled reforms, including the 2015 Skills List and a full list of prices and fees for 2015, can be found on the State Training Services website.

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