1,000 signatures reached
To: Minister for Education, Dan Tehan
Stop the Fee Hikes on Social and Community Services Degrees!
We are calling on the Federal Government to abandon its plan to increase the costs of Social Work and related degrees like Social Science, Social Welfare, Human Services, Community Welfare, Behavioural Science, Psychology and Counselling by 113%.
Instead, these degrees should have fee reductions to recognise the need to significantly grow the workforce to meet the community’s future needs.
If the Government proceeds with these fee hikes, there will be devastating consequences to social and community services in Australia:
• There will not be enough skilled and professional social and community services workers to deliver essential support services to the community.
• The predominantly female and low-paid workforce will be saddled with even higher debt from their education that they may never be able to pay off during their working lives.
Why is this important?
The Social and Community Services sector is growing and will be vital to supporting vulnerable and disadvantaged members of our community in the COVID recovery and as we enter a recession. The sector relies on a pipeline of Social Work and related degree graduates to fill critical roles in its workforce. The workforce is predominantly a female workforce and low-paid.
Already, there are workforce shortages in this essential sector. The Government’s proposed fee increases in Social Work and related fields will only further exacerbate these workforce shortages – in both recruitment and retention – that exist in this critical sector. It will disproportionately impact women who work in this sector, creating barriers for both entry and career advancement.
The Government’s proposed fee increases for these degrees also overlooks recent State and Commonwealth Government initiatives or inquiries that have set or recommended minimum degree standards for employment in the social assistance sector.