Release type: Joint Media Release


Fee-Free TAFE giving more Tasmanians access to skills and training


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

The Albanese Government’s Fee-Free TAFE has been widely embraced in Tasmania, with almost half of the 2023 places taken up, helping to address future workforce demand and skills shortages.

Since January, more than 2,200 students have enrolled in the 3,800 available Fee-Free TAFE training places intended to support more secure and rewarding employment in areas of critical skills shortage.

Tasmania has seen the highest demand for Fee-Free TAFE in courses like Aged and Disability Care, Early Childhood Education and Care, and Technology, with over 280 students enrolling in a Certificate III in Individual Support.

But Fee-Free TAFE is not only securing a future Tasmanian workforce in areas of need, it also keeps money in the pockets of students and making studying more accessible to people right across the state.
Tasmanian students studying a Fee-Free TAFE place can save:

  • $1,149.52 undertaking a Certificate III in Individual Support.
  • $1,653.57 undertaking a Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care.
  • $1,233.50 a undertaking a Certificate IV in Information Technology.

The $23 million agreement will quickly provide critical skills and includes 1,000 Fee-Free places in the care sector – including 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.

The Albanese Government is investing millions more in Tasmania with a share of a $50 million national TAFE Technology Fund to upgrade and expand facilities, such as laboratories, workshops, and IT services.

There are two TAFE Technology Fund projects in Tasmania, for which project plans have been agreed and payments authorised:

  • The Sorell Trade Training Centre and Jobs Hub, with a $1.5 million Australian Government contribution, and
  • Upgrading the spray booth at the Devonport campus of TasTAFE, with a $1 million Australian Government contribution.

The Sorell Trade Training Centre will help build the local workforce through re-skilling and up-skilling workers for secure, well-paid jobs. 

The Devonport spray booth project will upgrade two existing spray paint booths and the Paint Room at TasTAFE Devonport to create a "fit for purpose" spray painting facility.

Both projects deliver on the Government’s commitment to skilling Australians for well-paid jobs for today and the future, and both projects are expected to be completed in 2024.

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

Fee-Free TAFE is a big part of the fix for the skills shortages we’re seeing in Tasmania - particularly in education, hospitality, and the care economy - increasing access to high-quality training for any Tasmanian who wants to skill, reskill or upskill.

We have already made available 180,000 places across the country, and this year’s Budget will invest another $400 million to support another 300,000 TAFE and vocational education and training (VET) Fee-Free places.

The Sorell Trade Training Centre and Jobs Hub will increase access to training and associated services, leading to jobs for Tasmanians in the area to meet a growing demand.

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

Partnering with the Federal Government allows us to deliver more training to the Tasmanians who build our homes, provide our food and care for our loved ones. 

Tasmania has already recorded 2,212 enrolments in fee-free training for Tasmanians who want to grasp the opportunities in Tasmania’s nation-leading economy. 

Our Government is providing $1.5 million towards the Sorell Trade Training Centre and Jobs Hub, and with the Australian Government funding, this takes the total funding to deliver this fantastic project to $3 million.