Tuesday, 20 December 2022

Questions without notice and ministers statements

Ministers statements: TAFE funding

Ministers statements: TAFE funding

Gayle TIERNEY (Western Victoria – Minister for Training and Skills, Minister for Higher Education, Minister for Agriculture) (16:28): Thank you, President. I also wish to extend my congratulations to you in your elevated position as President of the Legislative Council.

On the first day of the sitting of the 60th Parliament in Victoria I am so proud to advise the chamber that I recently announced with Brendan O’Connor MP, the Commonwealth Minister for Skills and Training, a landmark 12-month skills agreement. Together we are investing over $250 million into Victorian skills and training in 2023. This partnership will create 55,000 places in Victoria’s world-class TAFE system. We are about building strong and real opportunities for all Victorians.

Since free TAFE was introduced in 2019, 125,000 Victorians have enrolled in quality courses that are the first step in a great career. Free TAFE has saved students more than $320 million in fees. But more than that, free TAFE has increased access for women, unemployed people, students with a disability, regional Victorians and people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities. Free TAFE has broken down so many barriers. Everyone has the right to access training that leads to a good job and a great career. We have delivered a system where all Victorians can get the skills they need for careers that are in demand and into the future.

We understand that we will need more skilled professionals, and an additional 55,000 places will be aligned to health, early childhood, community services, construction, agriculture and digital technology, just to name a few. I am so proud that the Victorian and Commonwealth governments have been able to work together and unite on the strong impact of free TAFE and the importance of public provision of quality training in this state.