Release type: Media Release


Up to $30 billion in funding unlocked from today in National Skills Agreement


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

Up to $30 billion in funding for the vocational education and training (VET) sector begins flowing from today, with the start of the National Skills Agreement signed by the Albanese Government and State and Territory Governments.

The landmark five-year National Skills Agreement - the first of its kind in a decade - creates certainty for the VET sector, and a vehicle for structural reforms to ensure it’s fit for purpose and benefits workers, businesses and the economy.

The NSA establishes a new collaborative way for governments to work together, to ensure the VET sector helps Australians gain the skills and capabilities they need to obtain well-paid, secure jobs.

It will also ensure Australia has the skilled workforce it needs, with TAFE at the heart of the VET sector, following a decade of neglect by the Coalition.

A $12.6 billion investment by the Commonwealth Government includes an extra $2.4 billion in flexible funding to support states and territories to help deliver training for critical industries such as:

  • Clean energy and supporting the Net Zero transformation
  • Sustaining essential care services
  • Developing Australia’s sovereign capability and food security, and
  • Ensuring Australia’s digital and technology capability.

There is also up to an additional $1.3 billion of Commonwealth funding to implement agreed reforms, including:

  • $325 million to establish nationally networked TAFE Centres of Excellence and strengthen collaboration between TAFEs, universities and industry
  • $100 million to support, grow and retain a quality VET workforce
  • $155 million to establish a National TAFE Network to foster collaboration and promote cutting edge curriculum
  • $214 million for Closing the Gap initiatives to be designed in partnership with First Nations people and led by them
  • $250 million to improve VET completions including for women and others who face completion challenges
  • $142 million to improve foundation skills training capacity, quality and access
  • $116 million to improve VET evidence and data.

If States and Territories access all the Commonwealth funding available under the Agreement, the combined investment by governments into the VET sector will be up to $30 billion over five years.

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

“A high-performing VET sector is essential for achieving a fairer society and a stronger economy.

“This $30 billion agreement is a fundamental shift in how governments work together to help address the lack of skilled workers, one of the biggest economic challenges we face.

“Importantly, this will open up many and various opportunities for Australians wanting to upskill or reskill, so they can get well-paid and secure jobs.

“This is on top of our very successful Fee-Free TAFE program, which will see a further 300,000 places available starting from today.”