Fee Free TAFE initiative a raging success

The Albanese and NSW Government’s joint initiative to provide over 180,000 fee-free places has been marked a raging success, with all 180,000 fee-free places filled within six months.

Member for Gosford, Liesl Tesch at Hunter TAFE Campus Gosford.

13 September 2023


NEW figures have shown that fee-free TAFE enrolments have hit 214,300 in the first six months – six months earlier than anticipated, with nearly 35,000 more places filled than expected.


Member for Gosford, Liesl Tesch said, “TAFE plays a special role in our community across the Central Coast, with Coasties no matter their background gaining skills and employment through our local TAFEs.


“Our local businesses are in desperate need of skilled workers, particularly in the care, early education and construction sectors and the uptake of this program is a positive step towards filling these places.


“I am glad to see that over 60.2 per cent of enrolments were women, with 130,000 women enrolling to receive a world class education through a hands-on approach to learning. Alongside this, we have seen 15,269 people with a disability enrolling in fee-free TAFE, a fantastic outcome for community members to engage in the wonderful opportunities available through TAFE.”


Member for Robertson, Dr Gordon Reid said, “TAFE is an important institution in the education ecosystem, it supports Australians from all walks of life, age, gender, and background acquire vocational skills and learning to transfer into key employment sectors across the community.


“I am proud to be a part of an Albanese Labor Government, working alongside our NSW Government counterparts, who understand the crucial role TAFE plays in training and educating Australians.


“My appreciation and thanks to our TAFE teachers, staff, and support workers."


TAFE NSW provides community members with top tier training across our state and provides training for in demand occupations across key sectors. NSW has seen significant growth in demand across key industries such as care, early education and construction, and Coasties have seized the opportunity provided by fee-free TAFE placements, with the care sector proving the biggest winner under this initiative.


These urgently needed care sector places are set to significantly address Australia’s shortfall of care workers, with a gap of 100,000 care workers estimated nationwide by 2027-28. Under the fee-free TAFE initiative, 23.8 per cent of total enrolments, or 51,000 students were enrolled in the care sector nationwide.


Other areas of success, include the priority sectors of construction, with 20,986 enrolments (9.7 per cent), technology and digital, with 16,768 enrolments (7.8 per cent) and early childhood education and care, with 11,868 enrolments (5.5 per cent).

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