FEES will rise for thousands of Victorians doing vocational training courses as a result of state government funding cuts.
Under the changes, a freeze on fees for apprentices will be lifted, resulting in costs rising by between $100 and $200.
The government will also remove the cap on overall student fees. But it says that by keeping a cap on the hourly rate, only about 20 per cent of the 425,000 students doing TAFE and private vocational courses will be affected.
The cuts are designed to curb spiralling costs caused by changes in 2009 to the way the TAFE system is funded, which allowed students to access public funding to courses, whether taught by a public or private institution. As a result, the sector is expected to cost the government almost $1.3 billion in 2012, up from $800 million in 2009.
To curb the blowout, the state government will also:
■Reduce funding for courses in seven areas, including Recreation and Tourism.
■Reduce by 25 per cent the amount of additional hourly funding to large providers (eight of Victoria's 18 public TAFEs).
Victorian TAFE Association executive director David Williams said the cost blowout was no surprise, and he was disappointed public TAFEs were being punished for the massive growth in the private sector. ''Blind Freddy could see that this was going to happen when they opened the gates uncontrollably under the prior government.''
Skills Minister Peter Hall said the government ''carefully monitors what is happening in the market and adjusts fees and funding settings accordingly''.