The Albanese Government is delivering on its commitment to build a stronger economy and help give more Australians the skills and training they need today and to harness the jobs and opportunities of the future.
We’re investing in our greatest resource – our people – honouring our key election commitments to establish Jobs and Skills Australia, provide additional fee-free TAFE and vocational education places, and build a Clean Energy Workforce.
Our Budget will:
- Contribute $550 million to a $1 billion 12-month Skills Agreement that will support access to 180,000 fee-free TAFE and vocational education places from January 2023, jointly funded with States and Territories, as part of a commitment to 480,000 places over 4 years
- Invest an additional $12.9 million to establish Jobs and Skills Australia to tackle skill shortages
- Commit $62 million to deliver the Skilling the Clean Energy Workforce and fund a Clean Energy Capacity Study to ensure that Australia has the workforce we need to build our strong, green economy
- Fund a National Study on Adult Literacy, Numeracy and Digital Literacy skills to increase participation in education, skills training, and employment opportunities
- Deliver the Australian Skills Guarantee to ensure one in ten workers on major, federally funded government projects are an apprentice, trainee, or paid cadet
- Invest $50 million in a TAFE Technology Fund to ensure facilities, workshops, laboratories, and telehealth simulators across the country are cutting edge and fit for purpose
“This Budget is about securing a more robust economy and tackling one of our greatest economic challenges in decades, the lack of skilled workers,” Minister for Skills and Training Brendan O’Connor said.
“Whether it’s in the care sector, agriculture, hospitality and tourism, construction, technology, or a need for sovereign capability in manufacturing, we need to deliver these skills at a time of acute skills shortages.
“Australia is facing its most significant skill shortage in decades, exacerbated by COVID-19 and 10 long years of policy neglect. To provide greater opportunity for Australians to have secure and rewarding employment we must be able to skill and reskill our workforce.
“Our Government is delivering on our election commitment to establish Jobs and Skills Australia (JSA) with an investment of an additional $12.9 million to support JSA to inform strategies to tackle skill shortages and plan for the workforce of the future.
“JSA will bring together unions, employers, states and territory governments and other experts and provide independent advice about current, emerging, and future skill needs to assist the nation to plan for the labour workforce our country needs.
“One of the first priorities for JSA is delivering the Clean Energy Capacity Study which will provide the critical evidence and insights needed to support workforce planning, inform skills development needs and training program design to build a strong and vibrant Clean Energy sector.
“To support action on foundation skills, the Government will fund a National Study on Adult Literacy, Numeracy and Digital Literacy Skills. This will assess the current skill levels and foundation skills gaps of adults across Australia with a feasibility study to be undertaken to assess and support the skills of First Nations People.
“Increasing a person’s literacy and numeracy levels supports them to participate in training and education and has a direct and positive impact on their future employment opportunities.
“The recent increase in occupations on the skills priority list is further evidence of the rapid increase in skill shortages across industry sectors, and why investment in areas of skills and training is vital for the economy.
“That is why the Government announced a $1 billion (12-month) Skills Agreement with states and territories at the Jobs and Skills Summit that will support access to 180,000 fee-free TAFE and vocational education training places from January 2023, jointly funded with States and Territories. These places will provide training opportunities to priority groups, increase workforce participation and address skills gaps in the economy.
The agreement also includes an Australian Government commitment of $50 million for a TAFE Technology Fund to improve facilities, workshops, laboratories, and telehealth simulators across the country, and $7 million for essential VET data infrastructure reform.
“This is on top of the $1.6 billion the Commonwealth transfers to states and territories for skills and workforce development every year and significant investment in supporting apprentices and other Australians undertaking training.”
The 12-month Skills agreement is the first stage of delivering on the skills commitments in our Made in Australia Skills Plan, which will drive sector reform to give the VET sector more certainty and a chance to perform at its best and confirm TAFE’s central role in that sector.
It will address the skills gap in our economy and increase opportunities and workforce participation of priority groups, including First Nations people, women and people with disabilities.
“Our Government is committed to reforming the skills sector through a new five-year National Skills Agreement with states and territories to commence in January 2024.
“We are also delivering our Australian Skills Guarantee as a key election commitment under the Secure Australian Jobs Plan to address skills shortages over the medium to long-term and deliver secure jobs. The Guarantee will ensure one in ten workers on major, federally funded government projects are an apprentice, trainee, or paid cadet, with a particular focus on supporting women, through specific targets.
“Australia’s future demand for skills will look very different to today’s demands. That is why we are committing over $100 million for Skilling the Clean Energy Workforce as a key component of our Powering Australia Plan, commencing with $62 million in this Budget. The plan will deliver 10,000 New Energy Apprenticeships, additional in-training support and a new mentoring program.
“The 2022-23 Budget sets the skills and training sector back on the right path to provide for a secure economy and bright future for all Australians,” Minister O’Connor said.