The Hon Jim Chalmers MP
The Hon Brendan O’Connor MP
Minister for Skills and Training
The Hon Jason Clare MP
Minister for Education
The Albanese Government will equip more Australians with the skills of the future by turbocharging TAFE Centres of Excellence and accelerating the take up of higher and degree apprenticeships in the priority areas of net zero, care, and digitisation.
In identifying the most important challenges and opportunities for the economy, particularly the transformation to net zero, the Employment White Paper outlines how the Commonwealth will increase funding to fast track up to six new TAFE Centres of Excellence under the five-year National Skills Agreement, which is currently being negotiated.
This extra funding will support partnerships between TAFEs, Jobs and Skills Councils, industry and universities - to establish TAFE Centres of Excellence, design and teach world leading curriculum and provide students with cutting edge skills.
In addition to the $325 million that has already been proposed by the Commonwealth Government under the National Skills Agreement for TAFE Centres of Excellence, the Government will commit an additional around $41 million, comprising of around $31 million to turbocharge the new TAFE Centres of Excellence and approximately $10 million to develop higher and degree apprenticeships.
It forms part of the Albanese Government’s efforts to increase the share of Australians in areas of high skills needs, which is a key reform direction outlined in the White Paper. It also supports the Government’s efforts to invest in skills, higher education and lifelong learning.
The intention is to create new degree apprenticeship qualifications and enable TAFEs to deliver new bachelor equivalent higher apprenticeships independent of universities, giving them capacity to provide students with opportunities to gain the advanced skills needed by industries.
The Government is aiming to double higher apprenticeship commencements in the priority areas identified in the White Paper over five years.
Higher apprenticeships are an innovative skills pathway, ensuring the education and training sector can respond to the skills that industry demands and is responsive and agile.
Industry needs will be built into the model by encouraging an employment relationship as part of the design meaning that students get the best of classroom and workplace learning and a line of sight to a meaningful job at the end of their training.
These reforms will mean that apprentices can get degree-level qualifications and university students can more easily get practical training and skills.
The Government’s vision is for a dynamic and inclusive labour market where everyone has the opportunity for secure, fairly paid work and people, businesses and communities can be beneficiaries of change and thrive.
By equipping more Australians with the skills of the future and accelerating the take up of higher apprenticeships in key priority areas, we can help realise our vision for a brighter working future.
As at 25 September 2023.