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TAFE students ineligible for government places find alternatives at NMIT

25 Mar 2013

NMIT teachers have assisted Health Services Assistance students who are ineligible for government-funded places into fulltime employment to enable them to complete courses in the Health industry.

Changes to government regulations in the past two years have meant students aged over 20 who have completed a government-funded TAFE course cannot enrol in another course at the same level (or lower) unless they pay full fees of up to $5000.

NMIT student Janu Maran, who arrived in Australia from Burma two years ago, hopes to eventually qualify as a nurse. She completed a Certificate III in Aged Care at NMIT, before applying for the Certificate III in Health Services Assistance (HSA) which would quality her for a hospital job. “I really wanted to work in a hospital. I'm really interested in this kind of work and I want to help people,” she says.

But when the 24-year-old turned up to enrol, she was told she wasn't entitled to a government-funded place and would have to pay $5000 in fees. “I was really worried because I wanted to do this course.”

Luckily NMIT HSA course coordinator Lynne Pearson intervened, using her industry connections to secure a job interview for Janu and two other students at Melbourne Private Hospital. Janu got a job in housekeeping and another student was employed at Werribee Hospital thanks to Lynne's efforts.

Melbourne Private Hospital has agreed to allow Janu to complete her certificate course onsite through a skills recognition process with NMIT, which means she won't incur hefty fees.

Dealing with local hospitals in Melbourne for 10 years meant Lynne knew how much they needed workers like Janu. “I was so upset to think these really good people who wanted to work couldn't because they were ineligible for a government supported place. The jobs are there and the hospitals love our students. We always respond to their training needs. We've improved literacy levels and developed electives with their input.”

Melbourne Private Hospital supervisor Tess Scott says she was happy to be flexible because of the high calibre of the students at NMIT. “Everyone who comes through here is very employable, the training is very good and they all seem really keen.”

Janu, who started work at Melbourne Private Hospital this week, says she is really happy the situation was resolved. “This job is like a dream for me.”

Interview / Photo Opportunity

Media enquiries should be directed to the NMIT Communications Officer, James Gardener, on (03) 92691579, 0413 483 182 or

NMIT (Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE) - Situated on seven campuses and six training centres throughout Melbourne's north, NMIT delivers vocational training, higher education and lifelong learning capabilities for a global workforce. NMIT forges partnerships with community, industry and government to produce practical, solution orientated graduates capable of making meaningful contributions to their chosen field of endeavour.