As part of the October 2022-23 Budget, the Australian Government partnered with state and territory governments to establish a $1 billion 12-month Skills Agreement to deliver 180,000 Fee Free TAFE and vocational educational places from January 2023.
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The Australian Government contribution of $493 million, will be matched by states and territories to support the delivery of training places. In addition $50 million has been committed for the TAFE Technology Fund and $7 million for essential VET data infrastructure reforms. The Agreement sets out training places across the following areas of national priority:
- care (aged care, childcare, health care and disability care)
- technology and digital
- hospitality and tourism
- sovereign capability
The Australian Government has identified that Fee Free TAFE will be prioritised for a number of priority groups, noting that specific details on priority groups, qualifications and courses in each state and territory will be available shortly. Priority groups include:
- First Nations Australians
- young people (17-24)
- people who are out of work or receiving income support payments
- unpaid carers
- women facing economic insecurity
- women undertaking study in non-traditional fields
- people with disability
- certain categories of visa holders.
The Federal Funding Agreement between the Australian Government and states and territories will be available in the near future on the Council on Federal Financial Relations website.