Victoria apprentices face 250% fee hikes

Mature-age apprentices in Victoria could be hit with fee hikes of up to 250 per cent from next year, it has been revealed.

New state rules will mean that only apprentices aged under 20 or those whose course is at a higher level than their previous qualification will be eligible for a state-funded place, the Australian reported.

David Williams, executive director of the Victorian TAFE Association, said that if the restriction had existed last year, about 5,200 apprentices would have had to pay full fees.

Speaking to the newspaper, he also noted that TAFE full fees are expected to rise to about $3,750 a year for an apprentice compared with a government-funded place of $900-$1,200.

"It will have a huge impact on those people starting an alternative career in areas of value to the country," commented Mr Williams.

Indeed, the reforms could affect Aussies looking to compare student banking and plan for future training courses. The Victorian TAFE Association is currently lobbying the state government to adjust its market-driven skills reforms and ease its restrictions on future funding.

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