Release type: Joint Media Release


ACT signs up to deliver Fee-Free TAFE


The Hon Brendan O'Connor MP
Minister for Skills and Training
Chris Steel MLA
ACT Minister for Skills

From 2023, Canberra students will be able to access fee-free courses at the Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT) as the Australian and ACT Governments signed a landmark 12-month Skills Agreement to address the current skills shortage.
The Agreement will inject more than $16.5 million into the ACT skills and training sector, with immediate support for over 2,500 Fee-Free TAFE places at CIT in 2023.
Fee-Free TAFE and vocational education will better match training with skills shortages in the ACT, identified through the skills priority list, driving enrolments in key sectors.

The course list will see approximately 840 fee-free places in the care sector, 600 in hospitality and tourism, 400 in technology and digital, 50 in construction, 40 in sovereign capability, including space trades, and 600 in other priority sectors including foundation skills. 

A total of 46 qualifications and pre-apprenticeships at CIT will be available fee-free to eligible students including:

  • Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care
  • Certificate III in Hospitality
  • Certificate IV in Mental Health
  • Certificate II in Electronics
  • Certificate II in Construction Pathways

There will also be a range of short courses on offer, such as Cyber Security Awareness, Camera Skills for Screen, Introduction to Arboriculture and Electric Vehicle Charging Training.
The Agreement will increase opportunities and workforce participation of priority groups, including First Nations Australians, young people (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.
The 12-month Skills Agreement confirms TAFE’s central role in the VET sector, increases opportunities and workforce participation of priority groups and addressing skills gaps in the economy.
The ACT’s public provider the Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT) will deliver the entirety of training places in the ACT, ensuring training opportunities are available to all eligible students.
The Agreement includes an Australian Government commitment of $0.58 million for essential VET data infrastructure reform in the ACT, and $50 million to modernise TAFE campuses and training facilities nationally.
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
The Australian Government recognises the urgency of the skills crisis facing the nation, and the challenges particular to the ACT, which is why this Agreement is so important.
If we want to provide greater opportunity in the ACT for secure and rewarding employment, we must be able to skill and reskill our workforce.
Whether it’s a need to build our care sector, construction, hospitality and tourism, or technology and digital sectors, we need to deliver these skills at a time of acute skills shortages.
I’m thrilled to make this joint investment to expand opportunities for all Canberrans.
Quotes Attributable to Chris Steel MLA, ACT Minister for Skills
These fee-free TAFE training places delivered through CIT will help to address many key skills shortages identified across the ACT economy.

With such a low unemployment rate here, fee free-TAFE is about reducing the barriers to undertake training for jobs that are in demand. 

I encourage Canberrans in the priority groups to seize the opportunity to enrol for next year in high quality fee-free courses delivered by CIT.