National Skills Agreement

The National Skills Agreement (the Agreement) is a 5-year joint agreement between the Commonwealth, states and territories to strengthen the vocational education and training (VET) sector and will commence 1 January 2024.

The Agreement will:

  • deliver a national VET system that provides high quality, responsive and accessible education and training to boost productivity
  • support Australians to obtain the skills and capabilities they need to obtain well-paid, secure jobs
  • ensure Australia has the skilled workforce it needs now and into the future, with TAFE at the heart of the VET sector.

The Agreement provides states and territories with access to additional Commonwealth funds of up to $3.7 billion over 5 years. This takes total Commonwealth investment in state and territory training systems to up to $12.6 billion over 5 years.

The Agreement also represents a fundamental shift in the way that governments work together to address shared challenges and capitalise on shared opportunities in the VET system. A new stewardship model will support governments to work collaboratively and purposefully towards national priorities, while preserving flexibility to align local skills supply with demand.

National priorities are areas where governments have agreed require focused effort to address critical skills and workforce shortages. The agreed inaugural national priorities are:

  • gender equality
  • Closing the Gap
  • supporting the Net Zero transformation
  • sustaining essential care services
  • developing Australia’s sovereign capability and food security
  • ensuring Australia’s digital and technology capability
  • delivering reforms to improve the regulation of VET qualifications and quality.

The Agreement gives effect to National Cabinet’s vision statement and guiding principles on longer-term VET reform. The National Cabinet endorsed the Agreement on 16 October 2023.


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