Thu. May 30th, 2024

Students experiencing ‘placement poverty’ will soon receive financial support

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell May17,2024
Key Points
  • The government will provide financial support for students undertaking mandatory unpaid placements from mid-2025.
  • The announcement comes as part of a wider strategy to ease cost of living pressures on Australian students.
  • Anthony Albanese said it would help future nurses, teachers and social workers “gain the experience they need”.
The Australian government will soon provide financial support for students undertaking mandatory unpaid university placements, as part of a wider strategy to ease cost of living pressures.
The changes were announced on Sunday as part of the 2024 budget, alongside a HECS overhaul that promises to .
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said the reform, in line with , aims to give fairer conditions to affected students.
“We’re proud to be backing the hard work and aspiration of Australians looking to better themselves by studying at university,” he said.

“We’re funding support for placements so our future nurses, teachers, and social workers can gain the experience they need.”

Who is eligible?

The Commonwealth Prac Payment will support students undertaking mandatory workplace placements required for university and vocational education and training qualifications.
Those studying to be a teacher, nurse, midwife or social worker will be eligible for the payment. They will also be able to claim it in addition to any other income support they may receive.

“This is an additional payment to support nursing TAFE students who have extra costs such as uniforms, travel, temporary accommodation or child care, during mandatory clinical placements,” Skills and Training Minister Brendan O’Connor said.

A teacher sits beside a students desk and looks over their work in a workbook.

Teaching students are among those eligible for the payment. Source: Getty / JohnnyGreig

“We are making it more accessible for people right across the country for people to get the skills they need to attain jobs in areas of high demand.”

The government indicated that the initiative will help provide relief to about 68,000 eligible higher education students and over 5,000 vocational education and training students each year.

How much will recipients get?

Recipients will get $319.50 per week during their clinical and professional placement periods — a payment that is benchmarked to the single Austudy per week rate.
Education Minister Jason Clare said the support would give students “who have signed up to do some of the most important jobs in this country a bit of extra help to get the qualifications they need”.
“Placement poverty is a real thing. I have met students who told me they can afford to go to uni, but they can’t afford to do the prac,” he said.
“Some students say prac means they have to give up their part-time job, and that they don’t have the money to pay the bills.

“This is practical support for practical training.”

When does it come into effect?

The payment will be available from 1 July 2025.
The government said it would work with the higher education and vocational education sectors to introduce and deliver the new support, describing it as “part of the first stage of reforms” it will implement in response to the Universities Accord.

The paid placements will help ease the care and teaching workforce skills shortages, the government said, as well as help to ensure more social workers are available to support those affected by family, domestic and sexual violence.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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One thought on “Students experiencing ‘placement poverty’ will soon receive financial support”
  1. As a nursing student myself, I am thrilled to hear about this financial support for mandatory placements. It’s a huge relief for students facing ‘placement poverty’ and will truly make a difference in our ability to gain the necessary experience without financial struggles.

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