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.