Finally, after several years without any mention of TAFE in the federal budget, this year’s budget represents a huge step forward for the nation’s TAFE institutions.
The Albanese government has made a $4.1 billion commitment, including $3.7 billion for the next national skills agreement. This agreement between the state and federal governments, backed by a significant injection of funds, should set the framework for a strong and vibrant TAFE system for the future.
There is planned reform to Foundation Skills programs, and money to support the implementation of the Australian Skills Guarantee, which will ensure that one in 10 workers on major government-funded projects is an apprentice, trainee or paid cadet, and a refocus of other apprentice support programs.
It is pleasing to see the spirit of collaboration between the Commonwealth, state and territory governments evident in the negotiations for the next national skills agreement. It is also heartening to see the Albanese government’s commitment to ensuring that TAFE is at the heart of vocational education, supported by long-term, sustainable and stable funding. We will continue holding them to account on this.