More than $2 billion to support skills: 150,000 training places for South Australia

SA Gov

The investment – which represents the largest in the state’s history – has been secured under a landmark National Skills Agreement ratified by National Cabinet last night.

Under the agreement the Malinauskas Labor Government will invest more than $1.4 billion in skills in addition to $850 million from the Commonwealth.

The funding will provide for approximately 150,000 new training places over the life of the agreement, 50,000 more than would otherwise be delivered.

Following close analysis of in-demand skills sectors and engagement with stakeholders, the key industry sectors for new training places will include:

  • Building and Construction
  • Health and Community Services
  • Electrotechnology
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Tourism and Hospitality
  • Mining and Engineering

Investment will be aligned to key priority areas including defence, early childhood education, clean energy transition, building and construction and ICT, supporting South Australians to complete training and move into secure, well-paid jobs.

This will help build the workforce of the key priority projects of the state including AUKUS, three-year-old preschool, building more homes, and hydrogen.

It will also see a $90 million annual boost for TAFE SA to fund extra training places, capital works upgrades and extra support services for students, continuing our work to rebuild TAFE SA.

It’s critical that this work starts now – with one in five young people, aged 15-24, not in study or work.

This investment delivers on the over 90,000 new TAFE and vocational training qualifications South Australia needs to meet labour market needs over the next 5 years.

The agreement also includes new funding to grow the VET workforce to meet future need, free foundation skills training for those who need to access courses like English as an Additional Language to get on a path to work, and funding to work with Aboriginal communities to Close the Gap by improving First Nations’ peoples access and completion of TAFE and training courses.

The National Skills Agreement will also look to improve completion rates through a $37m commitment to continue the state’s nation-leading work in looking after students and helping them finish their studies through further supports like mentoring and wellbeing support.

This National Skills Agreement comes on top of the 15,000 additional fee-free TAFE places for 2024-26 the Malinauskas Labor Government recently announced with the Commonwealth Government.

As put by Premier Peter Malinauskas

This is the most significant investment in skills South Australia has ever seen.

We are building our workforce and our economy in a way that has never been done before – giving South Australians the skills they need for the jobs my government is creating.

The National Skills Agreement is significant milestone for South Australia, delivering the extra funding we need now and over the next 5 years.

We have a bold ambition for South Australia with AUKUS, three-year-old preschool, and our hydrogen plant and we are setting the foundations now, for the future, to ensure we have the highly qualified workers needed for these complex projects.

As put by Minister for Education, Training and Skills Blair Boyer

South Australia has worked extensively with the Commonwealth in ensuring the National Skills Agreement meets the needs of our state now and well into the future.

Today’s announcement moves us forward with a huge investment in tackling our skills shortage and ensuring clear pathways for the workers of the future.

A $2 billion investment in skills is the largest increase we have ever seen in South Australia and its critical we are creating the foundations now for the pathways of the future.

This significant agreement will be backed by a new South Australia Skills Plan and our continued commitment to building a stronger TAFE SA.

As put by Federal Minister for Skills and Training Brendan O’Connor

This landmark agreement will kickstart real change.

The TAFE sector has endured periods of underfunding, impacts of deregulation, loose rules of VET market entry, a lack of national cohesion and an obsession for competition at the expense of collaboration.

By providing genuine national leadership in partnership with states and territories, we are building a system that is greater than the sum of its parts.

A high performing and world class VET sector is crucial for achieving a fairer society and a stronger economy.

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