Updated: Jan 18
The Albanese Government announced in September of 2022 that an additional $1.1 billion has been allocated towards creating 180,000 Fee-Free TAFE placements by next year. These new placements are in addition to the 465,000 Fee-Free TAFE placements already announced in the lead up to the federal election. The Government intends for the fee-free TAFE placements to encourage more women into the construction industry and more men into aged care.
Minister for Skills and Training, Brendan O'Connor, noted that the government must do more to assist apprentice completion rates, which currently sit at only 55%:
“We’re talking about billions of dollars of investment. We need to understand what apprentices and trainees need to complete their qualifications. It’s … not value for money [if they don’t finish].”
The Australian Education Union (AEU) federal president, Correna Haythorpe, welcomed the news and noted Mr. Albanese's acknowledgement of vocational training:
“Australia is facing skills shortages across states and territories, and across industries...The Prime Minister has acknowledged the critical role TAFE plays in Australia’s vocational education and training system and placed it at the heart of the national jobs and skills agenda...TAFE is the best place to ensure the workers we need gain the skills and knowledge required to fill workforce gaps."