Release type: Joint Media Release


$23 million skills agreement boost for Tasmanian economy


The Hon Brendan O'Connor MP
Minister for Skills and Training
The Hon Felix Ellis MP
Tasmanian Minister for Skills, Training and Workforce Growth

A new deal will help address Tasmania’s skills shortages and deliver more Fee-Free TAFE and vocational education places for Tasmanians.
The Australian and Tasmanian governments have signed a 12-month Skills Agreement that will inject more than $23 million into the Tasmanian skills and training sector.

This will provide immediate support for around 3,800 Fee-Free TAFE and vocational education and training (VET) places in 2023.

The course list will see about 1,000 Fee-Free TAFE places offered in the care sector – including the 850 in aged care – 450 in hospitality and tourism, 350 in agriculture, 250 in technology and digital, 200 in construction, 150 in sovereign capability, and around 1400 in other priority sectors including foundation skills.

Training through Fee-Free TAFE and VET will help drive enrolments in sectors with recognised skills shortages by matching training identified through the skills priority list and Tasmanian specific training needs.

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

TasTAFE will deliver nearly all of the training, with a portion of non-TAFE providers delivering training in areas of high demand.

The agreement also includes an Australian Government commitment of $2.5 million to immediately improve training facilities in Tasmania, and $630,000 for essential VET data infrastructure reform.

All governments have also agreed to a vision and guiding principles for longer-term VET reform to commence in 2024.

Quotes Attributable to Brendan O’Connor MP, Minister for Skills and Training
“This agreement is about tackling one of Tasmania’s greatest economic challenges in decades, the lack of skilled workers, in order to build a more robust economy.

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

“To provide greater opportunity for Tasmanians to have secure and rewarding employment we must be able to skill and reskill our workforce.

“The Albanese Government believes everyone deserves access to training, and this agreement will increase opportunities and workforce participation for groups such as First Nations Australians, young people aged 17-24, people out of work or receiving income support, unpaid carers, women undertaking study in non-traditional fields, people with disability and certain categories of visa holders.

“I’m thrilled to make this joint investment with Tasmania to expand opportunities to Tasmanian students.”

Quotes attributable to Felix Ellis, Tasmanian Minister for Skills, Training and Workforce Growth:

“This agreement will support thousands of Tasmanians to learn new job-ready skills in key industries.

“We are excited to work with the Commonwealth to continue building Tasmania’s skilled workforce.

“These opportunities come on top of the work we are already doing with TasTAFE to focus more on learners and local skills needs.

“There has never been a better time for Tasmanians to look at building their careers with a VET qualification.”