Unions welcome Albanese Government’s landmark National Skills Agreement
The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) has welcomed the Albanese Government’s announcement of a National Skills Agreement with State and Territory Governments to invest billions in new funding for vocational education and training.
The landmark five-year agreement will pave the way for total commonwealth, state and territory Government investment in skills and training to exceed $30 billion.
“This National Skills Agreement 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,” ACTU secretary Sally McManus says.
“The announcement by the Albanese Government will make an incredible 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.”
The agreement prioritises expanding TAFE capacity and supporting working people to gain the skills they require for emerging industries, including clean energy and the care sector. The nationally coordinated strategy is also expected to result in greater collaboration between TAFEs, universities, Jobs and Skills Councils and industry.
“The five-year term of the agreement, the partnership approach between governments and the inclusion of industry experts at the planning table restores stability and confidence that the quality and capacity of the VET sector will lift and provide greater opportunities for working Australians,” Sally says.
Vocational education is crucial to achieving social cohesion and inclusion. The ACTU is encouraged by the National Skills Agreement’s focus on economic inclusion for women, mature-age Australians, young people, people from CALD backgrounds, First Nations people, people with a disability and regional workers.
The ACTU also welcomes the $414 million the Albanese Government has committed to delivering 300,000 fee-free TAFE places from 2024 which will assist students with cost-of-living challenges and enable more Australians to gain the VET qualifications they need for secure, well-paid work.