More free TAFE and VET places for Queenslanders by 2023

The Australian and Queensland governments will take immediate action to offer more free TAFE and vocational education places for Queenslanders by 2023.

This innovative 12-month Skills Agreement will inject over $200 million into Queensland’s skills and training sector to support access to over 37,000 free TAFE and vocational education and training (VET) places by 2023.

Training through TAFE free of charge will help boost enrollments in sectors with recognized skills shortages by matching training identified through the Skills Priority List.

Free TAFE in Queensland comes at a crucial time as the State works to strengthen and grow the regional workforce, offering free access to a range of qualifications to support the needs of the local industry, including Certificate III in Hospitality, the Certificate III in Conservation and Ecosystem. Management and Certificate IV in Community Services.

This investment is estimated to also support around 3,000 senior care enrollments to provide a pathway for new students to enter this critical industry, including tuition-free access for the Certificate III in Individual Support and Certificate IV in Aging Support.

VET in Queensland is demand driven, meaning students can enroll in qualifications that best suit them and their local job market. Based on historical enrollments, it is estimated that there will be approximately 10,300 free places in the care sector, 12,000 places aligned to the technology and digital sectors, 1,600 places in hospitality and tourism, 5,300 places under construction, 900 places in agriculture and 6,900 places places in sovereign capacity, including the manufacturing sector.

Ratings provided under Fee-Free TAFE reflect the diversity of the workforce and job opportunities in Queensland’s regions, such as supporting marine ecosystems, the film industry, community services, business and education. The free TAFE program in Queensland will also offer free qualifications as part of youth apprenticeships.

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Free TAFE in Queensland will be delivered by TAFE Queensland and Central Queensland University. Under the Settlement, $9.68 million, in matching funds, will be provided to TAFE Queensland and Central Queensland University to enable them to provide comprehensive support to participating students, including priority cohorts.

The 12-month Skills agreement is the first stage of meeting the skills commitments in the Australian Government’s Made in Australia Skills Plan. It also confirms the central role of TAFE in the VET sector, increasing opportunities and labor participation for priority groups, while addressing critical skills gaps in the economy.

The agreement includes a commitment from the Australian Government of $5.8 million to immediately upgrade TAFE’s facilities in Queensland and $930,000 for essential VET data infrastructure reform.

All governments also agreed on a vision and guiding principles for the longer-term VET reform starting in 2024.

Citations attributable to Brendan O’Connor, Minister for Skills and Training

This agreement with Queensland is about ensuring a stronger economy and addressing one of our biggest economic challenges in decades, the lack of skilled workers.

Whether it’s in the care sector, agriculture, hospitality and tourism, construction, technology, or the need for sovereign capability in manufacturing, we must deliver these skills at a time of acute skill shortages.

These free training venues will give Queenslanders the opportunity to train for jobs that are in demand now and in the future, as well as provide businesses with the skilled workers they need.

We believe everyone deserves access to training, and this agreement will increase opportunities and job participation for priority groups, including First Nations Australians, youth (17-24), people out of work or receiving support from income, unpaid caregivers, women studying in non-traditional fields, people with disabilities, and certain categories of visa holders.

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I am delighted to be making this joint investment with Queensland to expand opportunities for Queenslanders.

Citations attributable to Hon Annastacia Palaszczuk, Prime Minister and Minister of the Olympic Games

This $200 million partnership, which will support 37,000 free TAFE and vocational education and training places next year, is critical to supporting our future workforce.

Providing the skills and training for Queenslanders not only enriches the lives and employment prospects of students, but also boosts the state’s economy through a highly-skilled workforce.

Fee-Free TAFE makes sure employers have access to the skilled workforce they need and Queenslanders have the skills they need to take advantage of the opportunities that exist for those good jobs.

Citations attributable to Hon Di Farmer MP, Queensland Minister for Training and Skills

As part of our Good people. Good Jobs – Queensland Workforce Strategy 2022-2032, The Palaszczuk Government is committed to training Queensland’s future workforce, which is why I am so proud of this partnership with the Commonwealth.

Free TAFE provides access to great training, delivered by great educators that will prepare Queenslanders for a great job.

At a time when our employers need more skilled workers, my message to Queenslanders is to find out about these free courses and change your life by training for a career you are passionate about.

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