ACWA has been strongly advocating against a large fee increase for community and human services degrees caught up in the Government’s Job-ready Graduates Package.
Qualified community workers are essential to the delivery of vital community services and the need for these professionals is even greater than before.
We now have the definite answer we have been waiting for: human services courses are officially exempt from the full impending fee hike.
The Minister for Education, The Hon Dan Tehan, and the Minister for Decentralisation and Regional Education, The Hon Andrew Gee MP, have released a joint statement which confirms students in youth work, counselling and community work degrees will fall under the professional pathway stream.
Students on the professional pathway will now pay $7,950 for a full year of study in those disciplines, a saving of $6,550 compared to student contributions in band four.
We welcome the Federal Government’s decision which comes after months of advocacy. ACWA has submitted twice to the consultations, written to Minister for Education, spoken directly to the department, written many emails and worked with the ASU and other stakeholders such as universities.
Community work graduates enter roles that have been identified by the Government itself as growth areas and many roles in regional areas experience shortages.
We are pleased the Government has acknowledged the importance of job ready professional community workers and that it is not the time to be creating barriers to the replenishment of the workforce.