More Fee-Free TAFE and VET places for Queenslanders in 2023

Queensland Government media release

The Australian and Queensland Governments will take immediate action to deliver more Fee-Free TAFE and vocational education places for Queenslanders in 2023.

This ground-breaking 12-month Skills Agreement will inject more than $200 million into the Queensland skills and training sector to support access to over 37,000 Fee-Free TAFE and vocational education and training (VET) places in 2023.

Training through Fee-Free TAFE will help drive enrolments in sectors with recognised skills shortages by matching training identified through the skills priority list.

Fee-Free TAFE in Queensland comes at a crucial time as the State works on strengthening and growing the regional workforce, offering free access to a range of qualifications to support local industry needs, including the Certificate III in Hospitality, Certificate III in Conservation and Ecosystem Management and the Certificate IV in Community Services.

This investment is estimated to also support around 3,000 enrolments in aged care to provide a pathway for new learners to enter this critical industry, including tuition free access to the Certificate III in Individual Support and the Certificate IV in Ageing Support.

VET in Queensland is demand driven, meaning students can enrol in qualifications that best suit them and their local job market. Based on historical enrolments, it is estimated there will be approximately 10,300 Fee-Free places in the care sector, 12,000 places aligned to the technology and digital sectors, 1,600 places in hospitality and tourism, 5,300 places in construction, 900 places in agriculture and 6,900 places in sovereign capability including the manufacturing sector.

The qualifications provided under Fee-Free TAFE reflect the diverse workforce and job opportunities across Queensland’s regions, such as in supporting marine eco-systems, film industry, community services, business, and education. The Fee-Free TAFE program in Queensland will also deliver free qualifications as part of apprenticeships for young people.

Fee-Free TAFE in Queensland will be delivered by TAFE Queensland and Central Queensland University. Under the Agreement $9.68 million will be provided, in matched funding, to TAFE Queensland and Central Queensland University to enable them to provide wrap around support to participating students, including the priority cohorts.

The 12-month Skills agreement is the first stage of delivering on the skills commitments in the Australian Government’s Made in Australia Skills Plan. It also confirms TAFE’s central role in the VET sector, increasing opportunities and workforce participation of priority groups, while addressing critical skills gaps in the economy.

The agreement includes an Australian Government commitment of $5.8 million to immediately improve TAFE facilities in Queensland, and $930,000 for essential VET data infrastructure reform.

All Governments have also agreed to a vision and guiding principles for longer-term VET reform to commence in 2024.

Find out more.