Release type: Joint Media Release


National Skills Week kicks off


The Hon Brendan O'Connor MP
Minister for Skills and Training

National Skills Week is an opportunity to celebrate Australia’s diverse skills set, but comes at a time when our nation is in the grip of a skills crisis.

A robust skills and training sector is critical to driving a productive workforce – this will deliver a stronger economy and more affordable goods and services.

Owing to a decade of inaction, Australia is experiencing a serious labour supply shortage and some of the most acute skills shortages of any country in the OECD.

The Albanese Government is taking immediate action to address this crisis.

Next week we are hosting our Jobs and Skills Summit, bringing together unions, businesses, government and industry to address our economic challenges.

We’re keen to see what proposals will be brought to the table to kick start the economy and get wages moving.

The Albanese Government is also delivering $850 million for 465,000 fee-free TAFE places and for TAFE infrastructure.

This will provide opportunities for school leavers, workers wanting to retrain or upskill and unpaid carers — who are predominantly women — to get into the workforce.

On top of this, we are creating an extra 45,000 TAFE places for industries suffering acute shortages, and a $50 million TAFE Technology Fund.

There is also a strong focus on providing more opportunities for apprentices and trainees – this includes 10,000 apprentice places in the new energy sector and ensuring one in 10 workers engaged on federally funded government projects is an apprentice or trainee.

Our $1.2 billion Future Made in Australia Skills Plan will focus on key areas of skills shortages, with new places at university and TAFE.

It is projected that over the next 5 years, 9 out of 10 jobs will require a post-secondary qualification and the Albanese Government is committed to ensuring people have these skills.

Quotes attributable to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese:   

“Better skills and better training means better jobs and a better future for more Australians in more parts of the country.

“My Government is focused on growing our vocational and training sector, delivering 465,000 fee-free TAFE places to help address skills shortages, and upgrading key TAFE infrastructure.

“We also have a strong focus on opening up more opportunities for apprentices and traineeships, giving people on the job work experience.

“Our goal is to build a strong VET sector to help more Australians get secure, well-paying jobs, while providing the skilled workers that business needs to grow our economy.

“Next week we are hosting our Jobs and Skills Summit that will brings together unions, business groups and the people who help run our world-class VET sector, to look at how we deliver immediate action on the skills shortages Australia is facing.”

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

“One of the biggest challenges facing businesses is they are struggling to find workers with the skills for the jobs available.

“Owing to a decade of inaction, the challenges have grown but they are not insurmountable.

“The first bill introduced to this parliament was to establish a new independent body Jobs and Skills Australia, to provide independent advice to government so we can better respond to future skills demand and better match taxpayers investment in areas of need.

“National Skills Week is a chance to recognise the value of our VET sector and promote it as an important stepping stone on the path to a good career.”

For more information about National Skills Week activities and virtual events across Australia visit: