Scholarship program to help plug childcare skills gap

A unique scholarship program offered by Greater Hume Council and TAFE NSW is allowing locals interested in a career in the booming childcare sector to ‘earn and learn’ at the same time.

The childcare sector, particularly in regional areas, has long grappled with a skills shortage, with the TAFE NSW report Jobs of the Future finding ‘early childhood educator’ would be one of the fastest growing jobs in the Murray region between 2018 and 2021.

Five new scholarships will allow recipients to work on the job at one of Council’s day care centres while receiving free tuition for a Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care through TAFE NSW.

Mayor, Heather Wilton, said, “It’s a great opportunity at a time when people have lost jobs and being able to study and work locally is becoming more attractive.

“Each scholarship recipient gets the cost of their course paid for by Greater Hume Council. Scholarship recipients are also rewarded with opportunities for paid work placement as an integral part of the program.”

TAFE NSW Early Childhood Team Leader, Justine Poidevin, said, “All of our early childhood teachers have worked extensively, or are currently working, in the sector and the course is extremely hands-on and practical.

“With the jobs market becoming increasingly uncertain, this is a wonderful opportunity to get a running start into an industry where jobs are plentiful and the personal rewards of the work are rich.”