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National AI Centre offers free AI education to SMEs

Australian small and medium businesses will now be able to access a free course in AI through TAFE NSW.

user iconMiranda Brownlee 12 March 2024 Corporate Counsel
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The National AI Centre (NAIC), in partnership with the Institute of Applied Technology Digital (IATD), has announced it will provide one million scholarships to support Australians to learn fundamental skills and adopt AI technology in their business operations.

The 'Introduction to Artificial Intelligence' course is delivered through TAFE NSW and covers topics including challenges and risks, common misconceptions, real-world applications, and advice from industry experts to start a career in AI.

More information on the free Introduction to AI course, including registrations is available on the TAFE NSW website.


Minister for Small Business Julie Collins said this latest initiative helps deliver on the government’s ambition for AI as outlined in its interim response to the Safe and Responsible AI in Australia consultation.

“It is also another step towards delivering on the Government’s target to reach 1.2 million tech‑related jobs by 2030,” she said.

“The Albanese Labor Government is taking several other immediate steps to help businesses to develop and use safe and responsible AI, including the establishment of a Temporary Expert Advisory Group last month, and developing an AI safety standard.”

The government understands the benefits to small businesses across the economy that can upskill digitally and harness new technologies, she said.

“We are providing a range of support to help small businesses excel online by investing more than $60 million in small business cyber security and digital training programs,” she added.

Minister for Industry and Science Ed Husic said a lot of business owners and workers have heard of AI but they’re not sure about how it applies to them.

“With this course, they can dip their toe in the water and get the basic skills that get them thinking about how AI can get their business working smarter and faster,” said Minister Husic.

“This is practical and pragmatic support for small businesses, who don’t have the same access to tech know‑how as big business, but have just as big a need to improve productivity.”

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