In an attempt to combat the skills crisis preventing Australia from making a comeback from COVID-19, Labor has vowed that under an Albanese Government, those wanting to study in an industry with a recognised skills shortage will be able to access free TAFE.
In total, over 465 000 Free TAFE places will be made available over 4 years, including 45 000 new places. Labor will invest $621 million over the forward estimates in Free TAFE, including $50 million for a TAFE Technology Fund. This is all part of their $1.2 billion Future Made in Australia Skills Plan, which aims to close the gap on areas with skills shortages such as childcare, aged care and construction.
This strategy is set to benefit individuals of all ages by providing more opportunities for school leavers, as well as encouraging unpaid carers and workers wanting to retrain to rejoin the workforce. This comes at a better time than ever, with nine out of ten jobs of the future requiring a VET qualification or a university degree.

Labor says that this move will also bolster the future of Macarthur by delivering a pipeline of skilled workers to meet future demand. This is particularly impactful for industries like hospitality and tourism, which were hit the hardest by COVID-19 and are in desperate need of this assistance.

– Cassidy Pearce