Soaring TAFE costs affect jobless figures
TAFE fees have risen more than 600 per cent in the past three years, prompting fears it will add to WA’s rocketing youth unemployment rate.
UnionsWA said high course fees, which had jumped by up to $10,000 for some courses, would add to youth unemployment of 11.4 per cent by making training too expensive.
Examples of the TAFE fee increases include the Diploma of Nursing, which increased from $1862 in 2013 to $9361 this year.
An Advanced Diploma of Engineering (electrical) rose from $2203 in 2013 to $12,712 this year, while a Certificate IV in Beauty Therapy cost $626 in 2013 and is now $4778. UnionsWA secretary Meredith Hammat said the State Government’s decision to remove cost caps on courses had directly resulted in rising youth unemployment.
“Young people from low to middle-income families — those most at risk of unemployment — are also those least able and willing to take on huge debts in order to gain job skills,” she said.
“Our TAFE system needs to be part of a positive plan for jobs in WA, with Government having a leading role, not standing on the sidelines.”
Training Minister Liza Harvey said the Government subsidised 85 per cent of training. “Our TAFE will train as many apprentices and trainees that industry is willing to take on,” she said.
She said students who could not afford the fees could seek fee help through a loan scheme.