Student qualification increases

TAFE INCREASES: Deputy Premier Susan Close has welcomed the increase in TafeSA students. (File)

Charlotte Varcoe

THERE has been a major increase in the state’s student enrolments for priority industries.

According to the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) – which covers the 2023 calendar year – there were 72,095 government-funded vocational education students.

This is a five per cent increase from 68,640 in 2022.

Qualification completions were also recorded to have increased from 19,900 compared to 18.500 in 2022.

TafeSA was boosted by an 11.3 per cent increase in 2023 with an additional 3515 students which was three percentage points above the national increase of 8.3 per cent.

There was a 4.8 per cent increase in construction and electrotechnology as well as a 3.7 per cent increase in program enrolments while qualifications completed went up by 2.2 per cent.

There was an increase in female students by 4.2 per cent with a 9.8 per cent increase in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

Students with a disability also increased by 8.1 per cent with a 2.1 per cent increase in students from regional and remote locations.

Young people aged 24 and under increased by 3.6 per cent with students attending school increased by 10.7 percent.

Students studying courses at Certificate III level and above also rose by 5.1 per cent.

South Australian skills commissioner Cameron Baker said having students enrolled and taking up critical training places was important for the growth of the state’s economy.

“It’s especially encouraging to see the number of female students, Aboriginal students and individuals living with a disability also on the rise,” Mr Baker said.

“Opportunities in training need to be made available to everyone.

“I’m also pleased to see the continued increase in the number of completions. While commencements are important, we will only start addressing areas of critical workforce shortages if we continue to see completions rise.”

Acting Premier Susan Close said while the state was in the midst of a skills shortage it was great to see the investment in the sector reflected in a “high number of students” taking up courses.

“The Fee-Free TAFE initiative – a key part of the $2.3 billion National Skills Agreement – will see a further 4,000 additional places available at TAFE SA each year for the next three years,” Ms Close said.

“This will further support industries facing skills shortages, growth industries and emerging.

“Increasing the skilled workforce to meet industry demand, both now and in the future, continues to be a key focus of this government.”