Labor Backs TAFE For The Future


A Shorten Labor Government will back TAFE by guaranteeing a portion of government funding for vocational education is dedicated to public TAFE.


This announcement is part of Labor’s plan to make skills and training a national priority, by working cooperatively with states and territories.


This will mean quality vocational education in this country, and more kids getting the opportunities and the skills they need for the jobs of the future.


As the Australian economy changes, the need for a highly-skilled workforce will be even greater.


Currently 45 per cent of Australians who work in manufacturing don’t have a qualification beyond secondary school. This is despite the fact that nearly 90 per cent of all new manufacturing jobs will require one.


Under the previous Labor government, the number of people participating in government-funded training grew from 1.2 million in 2007 to1.5 million in 2013.


Labor understands that TAFE provides an important quality touchstone across the sector, making it vital to maintain and grow.


TAFE also provides access to critical courses that no other provider delivers, especially for apprentices.


In many parts of Australia, TAFE is the only vocational education and training provider that young people can access.


Only Labor understands the role TAFE can play for industries in transition and their employees, including mature age workers.


That’s why Labor is backing TAFE.


That’s why the Liberals $2 billion cut from TAFE and vocational education, including $1 billion from apprenticeships, has been so harmful to our economy.  


And this is just the beginning. Tony Abbott’s Federation Green Paper proposes the Commonwealth completely abandon its role in funding vocational education and training.


Labor commits to working with the states and territories to continue to refine the contestability of VET funding so that we get the balance right.


In addition to the TAFE funding guarantee, Labor will work with Premiers and Chief Ministers on a comprehensive National Priority Plan which properly defines and supports TAFE and places it at the centre of our vocational education and training sector.


Labor is backing TAFE and training because we believe every Australian – young or old, from the city or the bush – has an equal right to share in the jobs and opportunities of the future.