Micro-certificates to help close skills gaps

The Australian government has provided $18.5 million for a higher education microcredit pilot project to help fill skills gaps to meet the needs of employers and industry.

Microloans are small courses in a specific field of study designed to upskill and retrain workers in a short time frame.

Australian employers across a wide range of industries are currently looking for workers with specific skills.

This pilot project will create more opportunities for Australians to learn the skills they need and fill those jobs.

It will target areas of national priority such as education, engineering, health and technology.

The Microcredentials pilot program will support the design and delivery of shorter forms of learning in the higher education sector.

Micro-certificates offer students greater flexibility to combine studies in the higher education sector to enable them to find a new job or progress in their current field.

They also have the potential to broaden university-industry collaboration and improve the ability of the higher education sector to respond to industry needs.

Funding will be available for institutions to develop microcredit in a national priority area.

In the first phase of the pilot, Table A universities will be able to apply for a share of $2 million to help develop micro-certificates in partnership with industry.

Table A universities will also be able to apply for $2 million in funding to deliver the microtitles they have developed.

The second cycle, which begins next year, will offer a share of $14.5 million and will be open to universities in Tables A, B and C, as well as non-university higher education providers to support the delivery of micro-certificates, including those developed under Round 1.

Funding of $16.5 million will be available for issuing micro-certificates to up to 4,000 students through 2026.

Applications for the first round are open today and further information is available at www.education.gov.au/microcredentials-pilot-higher-education.

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