The expansion of the Free TAFE initiative in Ballarat will give more students the opportunity to gain qualifications in areas of skills shortages and job growth.
The Certificate III in Information Technology and Certificate IV in Training and Assessment will move from fee-paying to free for eligible students in 2022 at Federation TAFE.
More than 2500 have studied free TAFE courses at Federation TAFE since the initiative began in 2019.
Federation University Pro Vice-Chancellor vocational education and training and CEO TAFE Liam Sloan said the additional free TAFE courses would help more students gain job-ready training.
The Free TAFE initiative gives more people the opportunity to study courses that lead to good jobs in some of our fastest growing industries.Liam Sloan, Fed TAFE CEO
"The Free TAFE initiative gives more people the opportunity to study courses that lead to good jobs in some of our fastest growing industries," he said.
"TAFE is an excellent choice for anyone wanting to gain real industry experience to enter the workforce."
Federation TAFE currently offers 31 Free TAFE courses.
RELATED COVERAGE: Former Ballarat student finds calling after free TAFE course
Federation TAFE student Krista Hodges completed a Certificate IV in Community Services in June through the Free TAFE initiative and is now working in the growing sector.
The 25-year-old was a carer for her mother before starting the course and completed two days a week of study for 12 months while continuing her carer duties.
She said not having to pay for the course helped while she was living on carer payments.
Ms Hodges began working in residential care with vulnerable youth at Berry Street in Ballarat in May.
She said she had seen a big need for skilled people in this field since starting work.
"The course helped me so much with my work. There is a definite need for more workers and more people that are passionate about it," she said.
"I spoke with my teacher about it and he said this is one of the harder jobs but it is incredibly rewarding and you play such a big part in the kids' lives.
"That spoke to me."
Ms Hodges said her teacher was incredible and helped set her up well to work in the industry.
"He was just one of those people you will never forget," she said.
"There was such a range of people in the course, from school leavers to mature learners, which shows that any stage of their life that the free course can get you back into study."
Ms Hodges said she loves her work and feels lucky to get a job just as she was finishing her course.
"It is difficult at times, as most community services jobs are, but it is meaningful," she said.
Ms Hodges said she was looking to complete further study in the area of art therapy.
"This job has shown me I do really want to work with young people," she said.
Visit federation.edu.au/schools/federation-tafe to find out more about Free TAFE.
Have you signed up to The Courier's variety of news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in Ballarat.