Release type: Joint Media Release


Fee-Free TAFE saving South Australians THOUSANDS


The Hon Brendan O'Connor MP
Minister for Skills and Training
The Hon Blair Boyer MP
South Australian Minister for Education, Training & Skills

Impressive new data reveals strong enrolments in Fee-Free TAFE and vocational education courses in South Australia thanks to a landmark agreement between the Australian and South Australian Governments.

In the first quarter of 2023, about 8,000 South Australian students enrolled in TAFE SA courses under the Fee-Free initiative, highlighting the demand for, and the importance of access to, education and training.

The joint government’s Fee-Free TAFE and VET plan is helping to reduce cost of living pressure, with students saving thousands of dollars in course fees.
Students undertaking a Diploma of Building and Construction (Building) will save up to $10,633 under the Fee-Free TAFE initiative.

The need to broaden access to education, and to fix skill shortages, is why the Albanese Government partnered with the South Australian Government to invest $65 million in the State as part of our 12-month Skills Agreement to deliver more than 12,500 Fee-Free TAFE and vocational education places in 2023.

The full list of 110 free courses to be delivered by TAFE SA in 2023 each offer a career pathway into a high-demand industry including trade and construction qualifications, nursing and healthcare and digital technology.

Examples of course fees students have saved by undertaking the Fee-Free initiative include:

  • A student studying a Diploma of Building and Construction (Building) will save up to $10,633.
  • A student studying a Diploma of Information Technology (Cyber Security) will save up to $6,262.
  • A student studying a Diploma of Engineering – Technical will save up to $7,073.
  • A student studying a Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care will save up to $4,785.

Whether it’s in the care sector, agriculture, hospitality and tourism, construction or technology, we must deliver skills training in an effective and accessible way at a time of acute skill shortages.

Quotes Attributable to Brendan O’Connor, Minister for Skills and Training
We’re increasing access and reducing cost barriers for training for South Australia’s most in-demand jobs to ensure a pipeline of workers to these critical roles.

Fee-Free TAFE is focused on identified priority courses in areas of skills shortage right now. These courses will lead to jobs needed most by employers in the South Australian economy.

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

Reducing cost of living pressures and ensuring no one is left behind is a key element of the Albanese Government’s plan and central to our Fee-Free TAFE and VET initiative.

Quotes Attributable to Blair Boyer, South Australian Minister for Education, Training and Skills 
Fee-Free TAFE is such an important initiative to break down barriers to education and training and make courses more accessible to people who otherwise would not have had the opportunity.

For many people, course fees are a barrier to getting into training and work, with this initiative removing that.

It has been a gamechanger for South Australians seeking to get the skills they need for a rewarding career – and this investment in skills is one of the most significant in our State’s history.

The courses offered through Fee-Free TAFE align directly with areas where we need thousands more workers but importantly offer a critical value-proposition, in this current economic climate, where financial barriers are removed.