Fee-Free TAFE

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Labor will waive upfront fees for 100,000 students, enabling them to attend TAFE to access the education and skill development they need to assist them into employment. Labor will work to ensure at least 50 per cent of those places go to women.

All Australians should have access through their working lives to the education and skills development they need for decent jobs that allow them to live good lives and be active members of the community.

Course fees and upfront costs have risen to the point where many Australians can’t afford to go to TAFE.

Under the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government the number of government funded students going to TAFE has dropped by 25 per cent. This is despite an increasing number of jobs requiring vocational education and skills.

Many trades face skills shortages - from carpenters and bricklayers, to bakers and pastry cooks. Despite high unemployment in some areas, workers can’t learn the skills they need locally, particularly in regional areas.

If we don’t get this right, there won’t be enough knowledgeable and skilled workers to meet the important demands of our ageing population and the rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme. Nor will there be sufficient workers with the high-tech skills to work in evolving and emerging industries.

Labor will reserve:

  • 20,000 places for people studying the skills they need to work in the NDIS and aged care.
  • 10,000 places for people studying early education.

We know that TAFE is the best place for young and adult Australians to gain knowledge and skills in the communities that benefit from them.

We will pay for it by making multinationals pay their fair share and closing tax loopholes used by the top end of town.