2024 Federal Budget Forgot To Put Students At The Heart Of Skills Training

Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia (ITECA)

The 2024 Federal Budget has some great investment to address workforce skills shortages but represents a missed opportunity to put students at the heart of the skills training system. That’s the view of the Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia (ITECA), the peak body representing independent skills training, higher education, and international education providers.

“The Australian Government’s investment in skills training is broadly welcomed; however, more could have been done to put students at the heart of the skills training system,” said Troy Williams, ITECA Chief Executive.

Key budget measures include continued funding for the five-year National Skills Agreement between the Australian, state and territory governments. This is the primary vehicle that taxpayers use to support students get the skills they need in critical areas.

“The problem with this budget is that skills funding isn’t student centred. It fails to empower students with the opportunity to study with the provider that’s best able to help them achieve their life and career goals, whether that’s an independent training provider or a public TAFE college,” Mr Williams said.

Continued investment in Jobs and Skills Australia (JSA) and the ten new Jobs And Skills Councils (JSCs) has been welcomed by ITECA.

“Working together, JSA and the JSCs can take a considered approach to workforce planning to identify where future skills needs will be. From there, it will be possible for the Australian Government to make considered decisions about future course demand and skills funding,” Mr Williams said.

ITECA will continue its advocacy to put students at the heart of the skills training system, where the Australian Government backs a student’s decision to study with either an independent Registered Training Organisation (RTO) or a public TAFE college.

Independent RTOs support 89.4% of the 4.5 million students in skills training according to data from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER).

/Public Release.