Staff and students at our Bass Coast campus this morning welcomed the Minister for Training and Skills, and Higher Education, the Honourable Gayle Tierney.

The Minister’s visit was to recognise the success of the government’s Free TAFE initiative and the positive impact it is having on regional campuses as well as our metropolitan areas.

Of the students who have enrolled in courses at Bass Coast this year, more than half have selected a course from the Free TAFE list.

The most popular Free TAFE course at our Wonthaggi campus is the Certificate III in Individual Support, while the Certificate IV in Bookkeeping and Accounting has also attracted interest.

Premier Daniels Stage Two announcement Minister Tierney said that Free TAFE is making it easier for jobs seekers to train for jobs across a range of industries that are crying out for more skilled workers. “Not only are we investing in the projects our state needs, we’re investing in the people we need to deliver them,” Minister Tierney said.

Chisholm Acting CEO, Stephen Varty, said that the success of Free TAFE at our Bass Coast campus was reflective of the interest in the suite of courses offered across the board.

"We have enrolled almost 2,500 students in Free TAFE courses this year and it is a wonderful achievement for our organisation, and certainly a fantastic opportunity for our students,” Stephen said.

“We have worked hard to ensure that we have been able to accommodate the increased student numbers, and I’m pleased to say that we have remained on schedule right through to the start of the academic year.”

“Thank you to Minister Tierney for your ongoing support of Chisholm, our Bass Coast campus and regional education,” Stephen said.

It was the Minister’s second visit to the campus in less than six months; late last year the Minister announced almost $600,000 in funding to support the delivery of four certificate courses in hospitality, horticulture and health.

General Manager, Hospitality, Tourism and Regional Education, Jessica Cook said it had been very positive for our regional campuses.

“It’s been very exciting to see the results of Free TAFE, especially across regional communities, as it has empowered people to engage in vocational training, which leads to solid employment outcomes or career transition,” Jessica said.

Interest in Free TAFE has been significant across the Institute. Michaela Bryant is a first year Nursing student and says she aspires to a career where she can help others. Michaela's inspirational story features in the State Government's promotion of the Free TAFE initiative.