The Gold Coast Bulletin

Budget education vow will ‘boost city books’


THE Gold Coast’s pandemichi­t education sector will experience “real positive outcomes” from Tuesday night’s federal budget, the industry’s peak body believes.

One of the largest pillars unpinning the Gold Coast’s economy, the education industry was worth $1.7bn pre-COVID. The closure of internatio­nal borders decimated dozens of providers who catered to overseas students, particular­ly English language schools.

However, Study Gold Coast chief executive Alfred Slogrove said he was buoyed by news that the federal government assumed overseas students would return this year.

“The $2.1bn in targeted support for industries hardest hit and the $53.6m support package for independen­t English language and non-university higher education providers will also go a long way to supporting our sector.”

He said another massive win for the Gold Coast was the government lifting the existing 40 work-hour fortnightl­y cap for student visa-holders employed in the tourism and hospitalit­y sector.

In addition, temporary visaholder­s will be able to access the 408 COVID-19 Pandemic Event Visa for 12 months if they work in the tourism and

hospitalit­y sector. This adds tourism and hospitalit­y to the critical sectors of agricultur­e, food processing, health care, aged care, disability care and child care for eligibilit­y for this visa subclass.

“Greater flexibilit­y not only allows students to work additional hours but it adds to the

student experience and our reputation as a supportive and culturally diverse destinatio­n.”

Mr Slogrove also applauded government plans to invest heavily in scholarshi­ps to promote advancemen­ts for women in non-traditiona­l trades and new graduates in cutting-edge technologi­es.

“The Gold Coast is well positioned to take advantage of these opportunit­ies as we are leaders in trades training and cutting-edge tech programs like the Diploma of Applied Blockchain and Cybersecur­ity, just to name a few.

“To add to this, we also have many of the leading private schools in Australia based on the Gold Coast and the additional federal grants will be welcomed.”

“It is also great to see the continued investment in STEM and short courses. These are often the starting point and they promote innovation, advancemen­ts and developmen­ts in many industries on the Coast leading to jobs and industries of the future.”

Other wins for the education include:

● $26.1m for non-university higher-education providers delivering 5000 extra short course places.

● Private schools $1.7bn in federal grants next financial year.

● $22.6m over six years to provide 234 scholarshi­ps for graduates in cutting-edge technologi­es.

● 5000 extra training places for women wanting to start in non-traditiona­l trades.

● $42.4m boost to STEM scholarshi­ps for women.

● $652.1m to train up the existing aged care workforce and encourage more people to enter the industry.

● $506m to extend JobTrainer scheme and deliver 163,000 training places in areas of need, to be matched by states and territorie­s.

● Additional $2.7bn for employers to take on 170,000 new apprentice­s and trainees.

 ??  ?? Study Gold Coast boss Alfred Slogrove says the announceme­nts in Tuesday’s Budget will be positive for the city’s education sector. Picture: Jerad Williams
Study Gold Coast boss Alfred Slogrove says the announceme­nts in Tuesday’s Budget will be positive for the city’s education sector. Picture: Jerad Williams

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