“Landmark” National Skills Agreement to Unlock Billions

A five-year National Skills Agreement (NSA), which will take effect from January 2024, has been agreed upon by the National Cabinet, embedding national cooperation and strategic investment across the vocational education and training (VET) sector.



The Albanese Government is prepared to invest $12.6 billion to expand and transform access to the VET sector, support quality training and implement reforms to address critical skills needs. There is an additional $1.3 billion of Commonwealth funding to implement agreed reforms including, but not limited to:

  • $325 million to establish nationally networked TAFE Centres of Excellence and strengthen collaboration between TAFEs, universities and industry.
  • $100 million to support, grow and retain a quality VET workforce.
  • $155 million to establish a National TAFE leadership Network to promote cutting edge curriculum.

ACTU secretary Sally McManus says that the NSA is a game-changer for millions of working people and their kids: “It will unlock record investment and support Australians to gain the skills they need for the jobs of the future.”

She adds that the announcement will help make a difference to working people and the next generation coming through.

“The country needs, and young people deserve, a world-class VET sector, with TAFE at its heart to provide job opportunities across our cities, suburbs and regions,” Sally explains.

The Housing Industry Association (HIA) welcomes the announcement, saying that it will expand and transform the VET sector to deliver quality training and reforms to address critical skill needs.

“Earlier this year, National Cabinet committed to building 1.2 million homes over the next five years. To build these much needed homes, it is critical that we have the key skills and workforce in place to enable us to achieve this target,” HIA managing director Jocelyn Martin says.

Whilst broadly supportive of these targeted ‘Centres of Excellence’ which can focus on key skills gaps, HIA stresses the importance of the Australian Government broadening the focus beyond TAFEs to also recognise the key role played by industry specific training organisations.

Image courtesy of Josh Olalde, Unsplash.

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