TAFE enrolments rise marginally

DESPITE the headwinds of the last few months with funding cuts, Central Gippsland Institute of TAFE has seen preliminary enrolment numbers increase about three per cent from the same time last year.

GippsTAFE chief executive Dr Peter Whitley said while it had not yet been finalised, as of 22 February student enrolment numbers had shown a slight increase.

“We are very happy with the situation and we would like more enrolments,” Dr Whitley said.

“With increased fees put in place, people have been concerned about the cost, but we have seen students take up loans through VET FEE-HELP and the take-up rate has been surprising.”

Dr Whitley said the institute had seen students enrolled in diplomas of health, aged care and community health growing.

“We have also seen increases in some apprentice areas and decreases in others, but the net effect is we have more apprentices this year than last year,” he said.

Dr Whitley said the institute had not increased its staffing levels after the 75 redundancies made last year.

“We have not replaced them,” he said, adding GippsTAFE had about 420 teaching and administrative staff presently.

“However, we want to grow our business and we would like to be employing more staff.”

Meanwhile, he said GippsTAFE recently had an orientation day for 25 students undertaking a Bachelor of Education with the University of Ballarat.

“These students are from all over Gippsland, who find the course highly attractive,” he said.

“It’s exceedingly good that we got these numbers, and it bodes well for Ballarat’s courses.”