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Australian government to build AU$4.3 million online microcredentials marketplace

It will bring together 54 providers offering 344 short online courses onto a national platform.

Australian government to build AU$4.3 million online microcredentials marketplace

The Australian government has announced it will sink AU$4.3 million to build and run a one-stop shop online marketplace for microcredentials.

According to the federal government, this marketplace will be designed to provide a nationally consistent platform to allow students to compare course outcomes, duration, mode of delivery, and credit point value.

Currently, 54 providers have created 344 short online courses. As at June 22, IT short courses are the third most popular offering with 68 courses.

"The microcredential marketplace will be a platform for job-seekers to see what skills they can gain by further study to help them get a new job or to get ahead in their current job," Minister for Education Dan Tehan.

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Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business Michaelia Cash said the federal government is currently fast-tracking consideration of microcredentials in the VET system during 2020.

"The marketplace will provide consistency that gives students and businesses the assurance they need to invest in this new mode of education," she said.

"Microcredentials can work as stand-alone qualifications or complement study being undertaken at the VET or higher education level."

A spokesperson for the Department of Education said no technology partner has been selected yet to assist with building the platform.

The marketplace builds on the federal government's Higher Education Relief Package that was announced in April. The marketplace. The package was designed to support workers who were displaced due to the coronavirus pandemic to upskill or retrain.

Last week, the Australian Bureau of Statistics' unemployment figures for May showed the country's unemployment rate jumped from a revised 6.4% in April to 7.1%, due to 227,000 job losses between the two months.

There are now 927,600 Australians currently unemployed.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the numbers were "not surprising".  

"We are very aware of the significant blow that Australians are hit with through the course of this pandemic," he said.

"This recession will be written in the stories of those who are experiencing terrible hardship and these statistics today are a reminder to all -- not that we need one -- that with all the other noise about whatever else is going on, our task is simple and that we must get Australians back into work."

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