This is a terrific development and has a direct and positive impact on the affordability and access to vocational training in dance.
The Government had also advised in January that any students beginning courses that were ineligible for VET student loans were also ineligible for any living allowance such asYouth Start. This raised very real concerns about access. The decision by Karen Andrews MP to amend the eligible course list has helped to address this concern, and paved the way for emerging talented dancers to access vocational training that may otherwise have been beyond their reach.
AMPAG members employed over 10,000 artists, creatives and arts workers last each year. Just like other industries, the arts need the right mix of vocation and university training to help maximise the opportunities for emerging talent to develop professional careers in the arts.
Sydney Dance Company spokesperson said "We welcome the news that the Diploma and Advanced Diploma of Dance (Elite Performance) was included in the amended list of approved courses for VET Student Loans. We feel quality VET-level training is important in providing essential creative skills to ensure the long-term viability of the industry and Australia’s cultural capital."
The current departmental methodology to determine course eligibility relies on courses to be listed on at least two state skills shortage lists. Given the specialised nature of performance skills, a national approach to assessment may also be needed.
NIDA'sStage & Screen Performance vocational course remains ineligible and the nationalActing Diploma and Advanced Diploma coursesremain off the eligible courses list. AMPAG supports registration of specific training organisations providing effective vocational training in this area.