Tafe fee increases capped at CPI

Tafe fee increases capped at CPI

PAYING Tafe fees has been made a little easier for students with increases to be capped at consumer price index.

Students with concession cards will also get some respite. They will receive a 70 per cent discount on fees, which is 20 per cent more than the 50 per cent they currently receive.

However, the opposition says Tafe fees have gone up by more than 500 per cent since 2014.

Ruth Shean, the director general of the department of training and workforce development, said that from 2013 to 2015, enrolments by concessional students in WA decreased by 14 per cent.

The headline CPI rose by 0.7 per cent in the third quarter of 2016.

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Minister for Training and Workforce Liza Harvey said it would have a significant impact on affordability.

“We have had a look at concession card holders and we had seen a decline in the enrolment update on those very people. They are the very people that we want to attract into training,” she said.

“We have increased the rate for those concession card holders where they will now get a 70 per cent discount on fees.”

Opposition spokesman for training Fran Logan said Ms Harvey and Premier Colin Barnett had already decimated the Tafe sector.

“Since 2013, Tafe fees have increased by up to 510 per cent,” he said.

“After eight years in office, this is just a desperate announcement. If the Liberals were serious about making Tafe more affordable, they would not have slugged young Western Australians with massive fee increases.

“It’s more important than ever that Tafe is affordable so we build up a strong, local skilled workforce to keep jobs in WA.”

Dr Shean said under the Future Skills WA program, training in State priority qualifications had increased significantly.

“From 2013 to 2015, enrolments in priority qualifications increased by 21 per cent, to over 88,000 enrolments,” she said.

“In 2014, the State Government introduced Future Skills WA to help people to gain skills that lead to employment in areas required by industry.”