The New Funding Opportunity For RTOs: Study For Students In Isolation
The Federal Education Minister, Dan Tehan, has announced offering heavily discounted six-month online courses targeted at areas of national demand. This is part of the Federal Government’s Coronavirus Relief Package for the higher education sector and is aimed at helping the unemployed gain a new skill via distance learning while in isolation. “It will also provide a revenue stream for universities and private providers to assist their financial stability,” Mr Tehan said.
The current plan is to provide funding for 20,000 spots, set to come online next month.
The Department of Education has reached out to course providers to develop these short courses, targeting national priorities. These are as follows:
- Foreign Languages
- Allied Health
- Other Health
- Information Technology
- Architecture and Building
- Medical Science
- Environmental Studies
The courses vary from diploma level 5 through to post-graduate certificates and must be completed by 1 December 2020.
So, as an RTO, what can you do?
Now is a great time to look into offering, ‘micro-credentials’. As the plan hasn’t been set in place yet, you have time to look into whether you have the expertise in these areas, the technology to deliver in this way and the time to pivot to support this initiative. The government has stated that, “providers will need to identify how they can best meet local needs in the areas of identified national priorities, such as teaching and health, science, and information technology.”
The key component to this is that,“these courses must only be offered through online delivery to support those students in isolation.”
The health and economic effects of the COVID-19 crisis have created urgent demands for new skills across a broad range of sectors, as well as expediting the need for entry-level workers in essential industries struggling to keep up with increased demand.
We are seeing direct evidence about how skilled workers are keeping the economy afloat and facilitating our recovery from this crisis. Healthcare workers, aged care and disability care workers play a fundamental role in our society, and now many more are being recognised as just as vital.
“As part of our economic response to COVID-19 we are supporting apprentices, trainees and small businesses, offering eligible employers a wage subsidy of 50 per cent of the apprentices or trainee’s wage for up to 9 months from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020 — so they can support their apprentices and trainees and keep the benefits of training already undertaken within their business.” – Minister for Vocational Education, Training and Apprenticeships, the Hon Steve Irons MP