Universities and TAFEs will be offering discounts on online courses starting in May to help fill skill shortages in the economic rebound once the coronavirus pandemic has run its course.
Education Minister Dan Tehan said on Sunday the initiative will provide students and workers with the opportunity to re-skill or advance their careers after the economic disruption caused by Covid-19, while being able to maintain social distancing.
“This plan will help Australians who have lost their job or are looking to retrain… the cost of these courses has been reduced by over 50 per cent, and in some instances up to 74 per cent,” he said.
“It will also provide a revenue stream for universities and private providers to assist their financial stability.”
The online courses will run for six months in what are deemed to be areas of “national priority”, including nursing, teaching, counselling, IT and science.
Mr Tehan said the government would be guaranteeing funding to universities “at current levels,” even if there is a fall in domestic student numbers due to the coronavirus pandemic. It’s committed more than $18 billion to universities this year.
Tertiary and international education providers would also get regulatory fee relief, and students would receive a six-month exemption from loan fees from FEE-HELP and VET Student Loans.
Minister for Employment Michaelia Cash said the fee relief would put “some $100 million back into the cash flow of Australian education and training businesses so this money can be used to retain employees, reshape education offerings and support domestic and international students.”
People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others and gatherings are limited to two people unless you are with your family or household.
If you believe you may have contracted the virus, call your doctor (don’t visit) or contact the national Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080. If you are struggling to breathe or experiencing a medical emergency, call 000.
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