Fee-free training to help fast-track early learning careers in NSW
18 August 2022 – Minderoo Foundation’s Thrive by Five initiative has welcomed the NSW Government’s commitment for 25,000 fee-free training places for jobs in the early childhood education and care sector (ECEC).
This commitment picks up on Thrive by Five’s calls for free or low-cost TAFE and VET courses in the sector.
Fee-free training will be provided in a range of full and part qualifications in the sector, including the Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and the Care and Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care.
For some courses, new employees can start working in the sector while gaining free diplomas or certificates in ECEC.
In June 2022, there were more than 6,640 early learning job vacancies nationwide.
Thrive by Five Director Jay Weatherill said, “Thrive by Five welcomes NSW offering free TAFE qualifications in ECEC and its contribution to help meet the state’s early educator workforce demand.
“As costs of living and inflation rise, offering free training will remove a critical barrier for people who want to work in the early learning sector, including women returning to work after unpaid care responsibilities, and current staff looking to upskill.
“The need to invest in the early childhood education and care workforce is urgent.
“This NSW scheme will help address the underlying, long-term ECEC workforce shortage and encourage the training of new workers needed for the successful introduction of the additional hours of free early learning being introduced in the state.
“The recently released Thrive by Five Workforce Action Plan also includes prioritising early childhood education and care jobs in local skills and employment planning approaches.
“Skills and training in the early learning sector should form a vital part of the discussion at the Federal Government’s upcoming Jobs and Skills Summit.
“A skilled, respected and better paid workforce is the first step towards unlocking more accessible and affordable early learning, unlocking greater women’s workforce participation across the economy and giving children the best start in life” he said.