MORE than 500 students from Ipswich are taking advantage of Fee-Free TAFE programs and thanks to an extension of the program, many more will be able to get some free education.
The joint initiative of state and federal government started on 1 January and was due to end on 31 December. However, it will now be extended to the end of 2026. More than 3000 students have already benefited from the program, which is aimed at helping disadvantaged and in-need Australians.
Nationwide, more than 65,000 job seekers, more than 22,000 people with disability and more than 14,000 First Nations Australians have enjoyed a place backed by the scheme.
Federal Member for Blair Shayne Neumann said, “I know businesses in the region are facing significant skills shortages, so it’s fantastic to see so many local students have enrolled in a Fee-Free TAFE course in priority industries this year.
“It’s great news that this excellent joint initiative with the Queensland Government has been extended to December 2026 and it shows just how successful it has been.”
The most sought-after courses among these students include:
- Cert III in Early Childhood Education and Care
- Cert IV in Accounting and Bookkeeping
- Cert III in Electrotechnology Electrician
- Cert IV in Training and Assessment
- Diploma of Nursing
State member for Ipswich Jennifer Howard said, “We know that Ipswich school graduates keenly pursue further education and training when they complete their formal education.
“As a proud former TAFE student, I’m delighted to see this continued investment in TAFE. It’s good for our local kids, as well as for our economy.”
Her enthusiasm was echoed by Bundamba MP Lance McCallum, who said, “We’re backing locals into good jobs with world-class free training and skills.
“TAFE is an essential publicly funded vocational training provider and it’s wonderful to see so many local gaining new skills through our free courses.”