When speaking with a potential student who is interested in studying with us, one of the biggest challenges can be navigating the complex process of determining funding eligibility. As a skills first provider of courses in skill shortage areas, Cire Training can offer funded places to students who meet the set criteria. Accessing a funded place means that a potential student can enrol in a qualification for a fraction of the cost compared to a full fee for a service student.
In the past, a common barrier for many students looking to access a subsidised enrolment is that students are not eligible if they have completed a higher qualification in the past. Known as the up-skilling requirement, students are only eligible if the course they are enrolling in is at a higher level than any course they have previously done. For example, a student who has completed a Diploma in Community Services would not be eligible to access a funded place in a Certificate IV in Education Support, as the Diploma is at a higher qualification level.
This roadblock has proven to be particularly challenging in recent years as the skill shortages across the courses we offer have only worsened. We have regularly encountered potential students keen for a career change, or to re-enter the workforce in a new field. Often, they are drawn to the idea of supporting those in their own communities. They are aware that the sector they wish to study and work in is crying out for staff. However, their previous qualification has prevented them from accessing a skills first funded enrolment, and the full fee can be cost prohibitive for many. This has meant that unfortunately, sometimes, potential students are unable to move forward with their studies. This also means that the sector has missed out on yet another potential staff member.
However, changes announced today are set to address this challenge. As of 2023, the Department of Education and Training will be removing the upskilling requirement of the skills first funding contract. This means that a student’s previous qualifications have no impact on their ability to access a funded, heavily subsidised enrolment. This can have a real and immediate impact on the number of students enrolling in vocational training in the new year, and we are looking forward to the flow-on effect into the workforce, where skill shortages are significantly impacting organisations across the various sectors.
If you have previously been interested in studying a Certificate or Diploma level course but have struggled to access skills first funding, we encourage you to speak to a training provider (RTO) to understand how the changes coming into effect.
Cire Training offers funded courses in early childhood, education support, community services, aged care and disability and would welcome the opportunity to discuss your options further; click here to learn more.