Half price TAFE fees have led to a 20 per cent increase in student enrolments this year, particularly in engineering, cyber security and early childhood courses.
The state government announced its $53.5 million ‘lower fees, local skills’ policy in October last year to make 34 high priority courses more affordable to students and lift demand in growth areas such as tourism, construction and healthcare.
The Department of Education said data from all five TAFE colleges in Perth showed a strong take-up in high priority courses this year.
The biggest gains in enrolment were in Certificate III in Engineering (Fabrication Trade), up 85 per cent to 146 students enrolled this year compared to 2019, and in Certificate IV in Cyber Security, up 85 per cent to a further 114 enrolments.
Enrolments in Certificate III in Early Childhood and Care were also up, rising 40 per cent to 191 students, while enrolments in Certificate IV in Preparation for Health and Nursing Studies rose 31 per cent to 123 students enrolled.
Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan and Education Minister Sue Ellery today visited Joondalup's North Metropolitan TAFE campus to meet with students enrolled in the Certificate III in Commercial Cookery.
This year, enrolments in the course increased by more than 20 per cent across all five TAFE colleges, compared to the same time last year.
“There are some fantastic career opportunities for chefs and cooks, but to get those top jobs you will need a qualification and be job ready,” Ms Ellery said.
"It is wonderful to see these young people at the start of their careers, getting the skills they need for future jobs, without having to pay substantial course fees."
She said the lower fees, local skills initiative would support job growth areas and the diversification of the WA economy.