Free TAFE sparking skills and helping Queenslanders take charge of careers

Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development The Honourable Lance McCallum

Member for Redlands Kim Richards, Member for Capalaba Don Brown, and Minister Lance McCallum with Electrical Apprentices Kaiya and Cooper

  • Free TAFE enrolments for the second semester of 2024 are open in over 70 courses
  • Call out comes as the state hits 14,000 enrolments in Free TAFE
  • Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician has been the state’s most popular course at TAFE with over 5,000 students enrolling in 2023

Queenslanders looking to save money on upskilling, reskilling, or kick starting their careers as a Queensland “SuperGrid Superhero” are being encouraged to apply for the Miles Government’s Free TAFE program as enrolments open for the second semester of 2024.

With the Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan set to deliver 64,000 jobs in clean energy infrastructure including new skilled direct jobs to build the SuperGrid the initiative is saving students and employers money while they build the industry’s capacity.

Free Apprenticeships for Queensland’s Big Build are also available for Queenslanders under 25 years of age who want to earn while they learn by combining work with study in over 130 qualifications including construction, plumbing, carpentry, wall and floor tiling, and mechanical.

The call out for enrolments from the Miles Labor Government comes with a warning for prospective students about the threat of increases to fees and the potential of cuts to courses and campuses under a David Crisafulli and LNP Government.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development Lance McCallum:

“Queenslanders absolutely love our Free TAFE and Free Apprenticeships with over 14,000 of them taking up the opportunity state-wide this year.

“With our Big Build of renewable energy, infrastructure, healthcare, and housing delivering the biggest decade in our state’s history, now is golden opportunity for students to get the skills they need to get a good secure, highly paid job.

“I’m really worried for the TAFE students that are enrolling right now in our Free TAFE courses about what happens to them under an LNP Government–is the LNP going to jack up fees, sell off campuses, and sack workers like they did last time?

“If there’s one thing the LNP hate more than TAFE, it’s Free TAFE, so they need to come clean and tell Queenslanders, and those students enrolling right now, what their plans are for the vocational education and training sector Queensland.”

Quotes attributable to Free Electrical Apprenticeship recipient Cooper Gough:

“I’m nineteen and fresh out of school so it was really appetising to look at a free apprenticeship–better than a uni degree where you go straight into debt–where I get paid while I’m learning.

“I’m working on rooftop solar, mostly commercial stuff, like big shopping centres, and it’s been really good to get into renewable energy industry.

“There’s jobs everywhere at the moment, if you can’t land your hands on one it’s unbelievable.”

Quotes attributable to Free Electrical Apprenticeship recipient Kaiya Seymour:

“I took on a sparkie apprenticeship because I like working with my hands, no robot can replace you, and because it’s everywhere, there’s always work.

“It’s been great to learn on the big jobs–I’m currently working on a renal dialysis ward upgrade at the Princess Alexandra Hospital and did a ward upgrade at the Mater Hospital.

“It’s really good to have a free apprenticeship and my message to anyone thinking about it is to ‘just go for it’–if you want a future out of it, do something about it.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Redlands Kim Richards:

“We know that high paying hi-vis careers are what the Miles Government is all about, and we’re setting up our Queensland SuperGrid Superheroes–like local Redlander Kaiya–for the fantastic opportunities of the jobs of the future with a free apprenticeship.

“We know how important delivering new healthcare infrastructure is and we’re so proud to be training the apprentices of the future so that we can continue with the Miles Government’s Big Build here in Queensland.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Capalaba Don Brown:

“The Miles Government’s Free TAFE program is supporting Queenslanders to get their future locked in under Labor’s Big Build which is exactly what local families want and our local economy needs.

“The LNP had the For Sale sign up and ready to go at my local TAFE in Alex Hills–under them it was a ghost town with what seemed like only two teachers–now there’s over 2,000 students.”

Explainer/fast fact and or further information:

There have been 14,409 student commencements in Free TAFE in 2024.

The top 5 Free TAFE courses for apprentices under 25 are:

  • Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician
  • Certificate III in Carpentry
  • Certificate III in Light Vehicle Mechanical Technology
  • Certificate III in Hairdressing
  • Certificate III in Plumbing

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