Police ease recruitment rule amid staffing woes

SA Police will cover the cost of a TAFE test for recruitment candidates but say it’s no longer a required part of a joining application as the force grapples with a staffing shortage.

The 3.5-hour literacy and numeracy examinations, run by TAFE SA and conducted every fortnight, cost $148.50 for an adult and $126.50 for a concession.

But SA Police says the fees will be waived for a limited amount of time and will no longer be a pre-requisite for submitting an application to join the force.

“For a limited time only, South Australia Police is accepting applications without the pre-requisite of prior completion of the SAPOL Recruitment test with TAFE SA,” SAPOL said on its Facebook page.

“You can APPLY NOW and after we have reviewed your application you will be invited to sit the SAPOL Recruitment test with TAFE SA at no cost to you.”

The test – which covers spelling, reading comprehension, written expression and computer skills – is not required for applicants with an ATAR score above 70 or a bachelor’s degree or higher from an Australian university.

SAPOL’s move to temporarily subsidize the tests comes after police commissioner Grant Stevens revealed earlier in the week that three cadet training courses – equivalent to 90 new police positions – had been canceled due to a shortfall in applicants.

Stevens told a parliamentary estimates committee on Wednesday that SAPOL was reaching out to officers who have recently retired or resigned to gauge their interest in joining the force.

The state’s police union, meanwhile, this week passed a vote of no confidence in SAPOL’s district policing model.

The Malinauskas Government has established a “Premier’s Taskforce” to provide recommendations on how to increase police numbers.

The taskforce is due to report back before the end of the year.

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