Labor's TAFE and Vocational Education Plan

May 30, 2018

Australia’s economy is changing fast. As a result, the skills Australians need to get well-paid and secure jobs are changing too.

For many, these changes have not been easy. Underemployment is at record highs and unemployment is far too common – particularly among younger Australians, in the regions and for retrenched workers.

At the same time, more than one in three employers report difficulty filling jobs. It’s clear the jobs exist, we just need to ensure Australians have the skills they need to get them. 

Labor will fight Malcolm Turnbull’s out-of-touch cuts to TAFE and apprentices, and ensure we have a skills and training sector that prepares Australians for quality jobs, today and into the future.

Reversing TAFE/Training cuts 
Labor will invest an additional $637.6 million into TAFE and vocational education – reversing the government’s 2017 budget cuts in full. Australia cannot afford more cuts to skills and training.

Building TAFE for the Future Fund 
Labor will commit $100 million towards a new Building TAFE for the Future Fund, to reverse the decline in TAFE facilities, and revitalise TAFE campuses across Australia.

TAFE Funding
Labor will ensure two thirds of Commonwealth funding for vocational education goes to TAFE, securing the future of TAFE across the country.

Australian Skills Authority
Labor will establish an independent Australian Skills Authority to advise on skills shortages and we will prioritise training investment in skills shortage areas identified by the Authority.

SkillUP Training Fund
Labor will establish a Training fund using revenue raised from the 457 visa fee increase to help deliver Labor’s agenda in skills and training.

Pre-Apprentice Program
Smooth the transition of 10,000 young job seekers into workplaces by providing them with 20 week pre-apprenticeship training.

Advanced Adult Apprentice Program
Fast-track apprenticeships for up to 20,000 people facing redundancy or whose jobs have been lost. 

1 in 10 rule for Apprentices
Labor will ensure 1 in 10 jobs on Commonwealth priority projects are filled by Australian apprentices. On the basis of the commitments Labor took to the election, this would have resulted in at least an additional 2,600 apprenticeship placements from this initiative.