Education and training

This part of Work45+ has information about:

There’s also a handy section with links to these and other useful web sites:

In the 21st century, we need to train and retrain throughout life, whether we’re employed or looking for work. It’s highly unlikely we’ll remain with a single employer throughout our working life. If we do spend many years in a single business, it’s almost certain we’ll change roles within the organisation, or our role will evolve. In both cases, we’ll have the best chance of staying employed or finding a new job if our training is up to date and relevant.

Before you decide to enrol in any kind of education or training, do your career planning. Then only enrol in a course you’re committed to finishing. Dropping out of courses is likely to:

  • cost you money
  • cost you time
  • give potential employers the impression you lack the commitment to finish a job.

TAFEs, colleges and universities today welcome mature-aged students. For example, demand for tradespeople means that mature-aged apprenticeships are encouraged, while the increasing need for people in health services has seen many older people take up vocational education and training courses in aged care or degrees such as nursing.

You may be eligible for financial support to help you access training. Talk to your employment service provider such as jobactive, if you have one, or see whether you are eligible for the Rapid Response Skills Initiative or Skills Checkpoint for Older Workers.

Reading, writing and maths

Help with reading, writing and maths is out there. A good place to find help is 26TEN.

Being able to read, write and do maths has been taken for granted in the jobs market, but governments, businesses and communities are starting to understand that some people have missed out, through no fault of their own. 26TEN is getting this message out, and letting us know how much we’ll all benefit when more adult Tasmanians can read, write and do maths better.

If you’d like to read, write or do maths better, you can go to 26TEN’s website here, or call 1300 00 2610. You might be referred to one of its members, like Libraries Tasmania. They have a friendly, free, confidential and personalised one-on-one literacy service for adult Tasmanians.

As a job seeker, you might also be eligible for the Skills for Education and Employment (SEE) program. If you have an employment service provider such as jobactive, it may be able to refer you to this program. The SEE program gives up to 650 hours of reading, writing and maths assistance to help you do better in training and work.

Both 26TEN and SEE assistance are offered in many places around Tasmania.

TasTAFE may offer options in reading, writing, and maths for work and trade. For more information, see SKILL UP in the “Education and training resources” section below.

If you think you’ll find it hard to tell someone you have trouble with reading, writing or maths, maybe watch Maree’s Story and Tom’s Story on the 26TEN website, to see what a difference it has made to the lives of these older Tasmanians.

Computers, smartphones and tablets

If you have an employment service provider such as jobactive, they should be able to arrange for you to get some help with IT, and access to computers and printers to apply for jobs.

Libraries Tasmania has a very wide array of free and low-cost classes and support for

  • using a mobile device (smartphones, tablets such as ipads etc.)
  • using a computer
  • using the internet and email
  • using communication and collaboration tools (Skype, Zoom etc.)
  • online protection

Many other places around Tasmania offer support. You can find out more on the Be Connected website or by ringing Be Connected on 1300 795 897.

For more information, see SKILL UP in the “Education and training resources” section below.


Vocational education and training (VET) refers to vocation-specific training such as apprenticeships and certificates that are recognised nationally. If you decide to do a VET course, make sure it’s offered by a registered training organisation (RTO) such as TasTAFE. VET courses not offered by an RTO may not be recognised by your employer.

TasTAFE may offer courses to help people quickly gain the skills to be ready to re-enter employment or change careers once the economy starts to recover. For more information, see SKILL UP in the “Education and training resources” section below.

Another option for vocational training in Tasmania is the University College, which provides associate degrees developed in consultation with business.

In July 2020 the Australian Government announced a new scheme called JobTrainer. In partnership with the State Government, this program helps job seekers have access to free, or low cost, training places in areas of identified skills needs. For a list of training courses that are cost free to eligible trainees, see here.

University study

If you’re keen to do a university degree but don’t qualify for entry, a preparation program offered by University College will help you meet those requirements.

The University of Tasmania (UTas) offers a range of degrees and diplomas. Many can be done online. If you start a course to help you get the job you want, you might be able to continue it part time if you find employment before you graduate.

UTas also offers short courses and free massive open online courses (MOOCS). Many of these are stand-alone subjects but some can help you gain entry to further study at the university.

In response to the impact of the COVID-19 restrictions on the economy, the University is offering a Graduate Certificate in Business and a Graduate Certificate in Tourism free to Tasmanians in second semester 2020. You can find out more about these courses here.

Also to help those affected by COVID-19, the Federal Government is funding a new series of certificates at UTas. As part of the Higher Education Relief Package, the government has significantly discounted student fees for studies undertaken for six months from May 2020. Students may be eligible to defer their student fees under the HECS-HELP loan scheme. You can find out what’s on offer here.

Education and training resources

The websites below have more information about services that can help you find the right education or training for you.

My Skills

My Skills was created by the Australian Government to make sure you have access to current, straightforward, independent and trustworthy information about training options. Once you know which industry you want to work in, you can use My Skills to find out which courses can help you be competitive. The website lets you search vocational education and training (VET) courses in Tasmania and also lists the registered training organisations (RTOs) that offer them in our State.


TasTAFE is the Tasmanian Goverment’s  provider of vocational education and training. Being Government owned brings many benefits such as a modern network of 16 campuses and contemporary training facilities, and experienced teachers who have industry currency and competency.


If you are looking for work, you may be able to study a free or low-fee course through JobTrainer. You can choose from a range of accredited diplomas, certificates and short courses in areas like health, aged and disability care, IT and trades.

University College

University College provides vocational associate degrees and pathways to university entrance. It’s flexible online learning helps you manage your learning around your life.

University of Tasmania

The University of Tasmania offers degrees and diplomas to help you prepare for work in a wide range of careers. Many of its courses include work placements. In response to the impact of the COVID-19 restrictions on the economy, the University is offering a Graduate Certificate in Business and a Graduate Certificate in Tourism free to Tasmanians in second semester 2020 and a series of job-ready certificates at significantly discounted rates.


26TEN can connect you with free, friendly and confidential help to read, write or do maths better. You can join a class or get free one-on-one help all around Tasmania. There are classes in places around Tasmania, including Libraries Tasmania, TasTAFE and neighbourhood houses.

Skills for Education and Employment

The Skills for Education and Employment (SEE) program provides language, literacy and numeracy training of up to 650 hours to eligible job seekers, to help them to participate more effectively in training or in the labour force. The program is delivered across Australia, from metropolitan and regional areas, right through to remote communities. The program caters for job seeker groups with literacy and/or numeracy training needs including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, youth, people with disabilities, mature-aged people, and job seekers from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. In Tasmania SEE courses are provided by TasTAFE and MAX Solutions.

Libraries Tasmania

Get up to speed using computers and other information technologies with Libraries Tasmania’s free or low-cost courses and support programs around the state. They also often run courses in response to local demand. And there’s a range of video tutorials on how to use library resources such as OverDrive (for ebooks) as well as social media such as Instagram and Twitter.

Be Connected

Be Connected is an Australia wide initiative empowering all Australians to thrive in a digital world. It has online learning resources as well as a network of community partners – the Be Connected Network – who offer in-person support so you can develop your digital skills and confidence. Find a local place for friendly help and advice, or join the network to help others.

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Video credits
  • Mark Boonstra is the Manager of Impact Communities, which is part of Workskills, a jobactive provider.
  • Samantha Lawrence is Employment and Innovation Facilitator at Impact Communities.
  • Film maker: Lucy East
  1. Curtis, J, and Frith, C, 2019, Getting to Work: Mature Aged Work in Tasmania, a report for COTA Tasmania