Free training changes game for job seekers

Eligible job seekers can now access free, uncapped training to learn valuable, employable skills such as hospitality through the TAFE SEE program. Picture: TAFE

Thousands of job seekers are better positioned to access free training thanks to key reforms to the Australian Government’s Skills for Education and Employment program.

The Skills for Education & Employment (SEE) program connects unemployed Australians with skilled TAFE Queensland trainers, work placements and Certificate-level qualifications to prepare for work or higher study.

As of 1 January 2022, eligible job seekers can now access free, uncapped training— previously limited to 650 hours—across 45 TAFE Queensland locations, including Kingaroy, Cherbourg, Bundaberg and Gympie.

TAFE Queensland English Language and Literacy Services Executive Director Scott Bray said it was an incredibly exciting time for the SEE program.

“These changes really open up the floor to our job seekers. Now, instead of being capped to that 650 hours, you can access as much training as you need to complete a Certificate level qualification,” he said.

The SEE program’s key point-of-difference lies in its level of customisation. Where one student may be working towards their Year 10 Alternative, another could be preparing for Australian Defence Force entry, learning to use Adobe Photoshop, or completing a Certificate II in Business.

For early school leavers like Remy Teague, the SEE program offers a chance to work toward personal career goals in a safe, low-pressure environment.

“It was an experience I will never forget. TAFE was nothing like high school, to the point I could have cried in relief,” Remy said.

“It was so calm and welcoming. The people were amazing, the environment was amazing -for the first time in my life, I had a safe space to learn and actually enjoy what I was being taught.”

After previously leaving school midway through Year 8, Remy successfully achieved her Year 10 Alternative through the SEE program. She is now enrolled in TAFE Queensland’s Certificate III in Visual Arts.

TAFE Queensland currently delivers the SEE program in 45 locations across Queensland. Job seekers can get started by obtaining a referral from Services Australia or their job service provider.