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Healthcare injection

Sunshine Coast students are set to take advantage of the Free TAFE initiative offering thousands of places in the Diploma of Nursing.

Thousands of future nurses will receive free training on the Sunshine Coast as part a $87.5 million investment in the Diploma of Nursing.

There are 3500 Diploma of Nursing places on offer this year, with more than 1700 students enrolled for Semester 1.

The Free Diploma of Nursing is being delivered by TAFE Queensland, CQUniversity and Mater Education at locations across the state.

In our region, training will be facilitated by the Sunshine Coast Health Institute.

Last year, more than 3100 students started a Diploma of Nursing under Free TAFE, including more than 150 on the Coast. There continues to be strong interest in the Diploma of Nursing across Queensland, with more than 2500 people expressing an interest in studying the qualification this year.

Healthcare and social assistance is the fastest-growing industry in the Sunshine Coast region, with Jobs Queensland data projecting the local industry will grow 22.3 per cent by 2025-26.

Minister for Training and Skills Development Lance McCallum says nurses are the frontline heroes of health care in Queensland.

“They dedicate their lives to helping people from the moment we come into the world as babies, through childhood and adulthood, and in our twilight years,” Mr McCallum says.

“Nursing is a rewarding, highly skilled and highly sought-after profession.

“Last financial year, more than 55,000 people moved to Queensland, and as our state grows, we are growing our health sector with record numbers of frontline health workers.

“By removing the financial barrier, we’re helping even more Queenslanders pursue exciting and rewarding careers in health.

“While nursing students will save over $24,000 in study fees, all Queenslanders will benefit from their service, contributing to a stronger and more responsive health system. This valuable initiative also provides a financial incentive to students when cost of living is at the forefront of Queenslanders’ minds.”

It is estimated that the industry will employ almost 40,000 local people by 2025-26, with the largest occupational groups including registered nurses.

The National Skills Partnership between the Queensland and federal governments will see 43,400 Free TAFE places available in Queensland over the next three years – backed by a $170 million investment.

The Free TAFE initiative is available to eligible Queenslanders to study priority skill sets and qualifications, providing opportunities to upskill, reskill or start a career in high-demand industries.

Visit tafeqld.edu.au and search for ‘Diploma of Nursing’.

By the numbers

  • In 2023, more than 150 students commenced a Diploma of Nursing under Free TAFE in the Sunshine Coast region.
  • The Sunshine Coast health industry is projected to grow 22.3 per cent by 2025-26.
  • It is estimated that the local industry will employ almost 40,000 local people by 2025-26.

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