It was great news when the State Government announced that there would be no course fees to undertake a Vocational Education and Training (VET) course funded under Skills for All TAFE courses for people under guardianship or formerly under guardianship. Getting tertiary training and qualifications is a proven route to employment that can provide financial stability and personal rewards.
Course fees, however, are only one of the barriers that can prevent young people with a care experience from entering and completing further education.
Learner Support Services (LSS) sets out to increase success by addressing those barriers so that students can focus their full energies on study. LSS Case Managers work individually with students in TAFE and some Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) to link them up to non-Government and other service providers.
Barriers that students have overcome with support from their case manager are wide-ranging. Issues with transport, accommodation, relations with Centrelink, child care, alcohol and substance abuse and lack of basic skills all have the potential to de-rail student aspirations.
LSS is taking particular care to build relationships between TAFE and RTOs and NGO service providers to ensure that each understands what the other is about and how they can best work together to support students.
Sarah Marshall from the Policy and Intergovernment Relations Unit of the Department of State Development (DSD) explained that LSS was only one of the services to assist people with care experience and other potential students to enter training in TAFE and RTOs.
‘Student Services in any branch of TAFE will be happy to talk to prospective students about career options and learning pathways. Prospective students with care experience can also talk to Student Services about their eligibility to have fees waived, and to access case management support through LSS’, said Sarah.
‘The Department of State Development also funds Career Services available free to people who are on unemployment benefits. You can call the Skills for All Infoline to have an initial chat about what you’d like to do and get information you need on careers, jobs and training. If you’re looking for work Career Services have qualified advisers who can help through one-on-one support.
‘‘We have found that, for many students once they have have started on their study pathway, the intensive, one-on-one service provided by an LSS Case Manager have contributed greatly to their eventual success,’ said Sarah.
For a chat to see what is available and what you are eligible for, call the Skills for All Infoline on 1800 506 266 or visit the Skills for All website at http://www.skills.sa.gov.au/