By Genevieve Waldie
As COVID-19 restrictions continue to limit social activities and in many cases work options, the Federal Government has introduced incentives to use time at home productively studying.
In a push to reduce unemployment and to boost staff numbers in identified national priority fields, the government are providing subsidies for 6 months higher education courses in the areas of teaching, nursing, allied health and medicine, IT and science.
The higher education relief package is aimed at domestic students and also includes $100 million in regulatory relief for education providers.
Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan said that the plan will help Australians who have lost their job or are looking to retrain to use their time studying nursing, teaching, counselling, allied health or other areas considered national priorities.
“So, this was specifically designed for those Australians who have had their lives turned upside down as a result of the coronavirus. We want to give them the opportunity to re-skill or embark on a new career in these areas, where we know there will be work post the pandemic.”
“We’re encouraging as many people as possible can to think about, ‘Okay, how can I re-skill? Or, how can I change direction when it comes to my career?’ so that we have the workforce that we’ll need to help us emerge from the pandemic.”
It will also provide a revenue stream for universities and private providers to assist their financial stability.
The Government has also guaranteed funding for universities at current levels, even if there is a fall in domestic student numbers, and promises greater flexibility in the approved uses of funding.
The 6 months higher education courses are all delivered online and must be completed by December 2020 so people are being encouraged to contact their education provider for details now.