TAFE revitalisation ensuring WA Jobs Plan delivers jobs for locals

Posted on March 8, 2021
  • $187 million TAFE commitment part of WA Jobs Plan to deliver local jobs for Western Australians
  • $282.7 million of initiatives in the WA Recovery Plan to rebuild TAFEs and slash fees
  • $282 million to freeze TAFE fees to 2025 funded in the budget
  • Restoring TAFE will enable reduction in interstate FIFO, training locals for local jobs instead
  • McGowan Government has overseen huge TAFE fee reductions, delivering big enrolment increases
  • Repairing the damage done to TAFE and training under former Liberal-National Government

The McGowan Labor Government’s work to revitalise the TAFE sector will enable Western Australians to secure employment in the thousands of high quality, local jobs which will be created by Premier Mark McGowan’s WA Jobs Plan.

A re-elected McGowan Government’s wide ranging TAFE and training package will build on its success over the last four years in delivering huge cuts to fees and increases to enrolments.

By continuing to restore WA’s TAFE sector, a re-elected McGowan Government will ensure locals are well placed to secure the 125,000 jobs the WA Jobs Plan is designed to create over the next five years.

A key plank of the WA Jobs Plan is a reduction in interstate FIFO – with the enhanced TAFE system to ensure Western Australians are strongly positioned to take on these jobs instead.

A re-elected McGowan Government will also continue its efforts to refocus the training system to deliver the skills the resources sector needs in its employees.

The McGowan Government has worked closely with key industry bodies to ensure courses are relevant and deliver real jobs outcomes in a diversified economy including tourism, hospitality, health services, disability services, defence, agriculture, civil construction, transport and logistics.

This comprehensive $752 million package will continue the McGowan Government’s efforts to make TAFE a key priority after the former Liberal-National Government decimated the sector during its time in office.

From 2008-2017, TAFE fees increased by up to 510 per cent and enrolments decreased by 23 per cent.

The McGowan Government’s range of initiates to restore the State’s TAFE and training sectors has driven huge increases in student applications – increasing by 43 per cent in the 12 months to January 2021.

Over the last four years, the McGowan Government has frozen TAFE fees, embarked on major rebuilds of the State’s TAFE campuses, and slashed fees for a range of courses, along with a range of additional measures.

The Lower Fees, Local Skills program has reduced fees by up to 72 per cent for 180 priority qualifications.

A re-elected McGowan Government will continue these efforts with five major initiatives to continue to drive the restoration of WA’s TAFE system, including:

  • $282 million to continue the TAFE fee freeze until 2025
  • $95 million for vocational education and training (VET) career support in schools
  • $32.4 million to employ 300 more apprentices and trainees as part of the WA Jobs Plan
  • $29.8 million to create an additional 4,000 places at WA TAFEs for high school students
  • $25 million to invest in new, modern equipment for WA’s TAFEs
  • $5.2 million to encourage businesses to employ 200 more mature age apprentices

Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:

“My WA Jobs Plan is designed to create 125,000 new jobs. By rebuilding our TAFE and training sectors, we will ensure Western Australians are well placed to secure these new local jobs.

“I am very focused on reducing interstate FIFO and making sure these quality, high paying jobs go to Western Australians instead.

“We have worked with the resources sector to make sure the courses we are delivering are relevant and give Western Australians every opportunity to be employed on projects around the State.

“I’m passionate about the TAFE system and the role it plays in creating opportunities for everyone.

“Only WA Labor understands how important apprenticeships, traineeships and other vocational pathways are to fostering fairness and prosperity in our State and to delivering a diversified economy.

“My Labor team has restored TAFE and training after inheriting a decimated TAFE system that was underfunded and unaffordable.

“Having a strong, affordable TAFE and training sector is absolutely vital to provide all Western Australians with the opportunity to seek out fulfilling careers.

“Our next phase of initiatives will consolidate our success so far to drive more enrolments, make courses more affordable, help school students understand the training options available to them, provide hundreds of new apprenticeships and encourage more mature-age training.”

McGowan Government’s record on TAFE and Training

  • Record $167.4 million investment in capital works projects to rebuild and upgrade essential infrastructure across the five Western Australian TAFE colleges as part of the WA Recovery Plan – creating world-class learning opportunities for students while generating a pipeline of jobs;
  • $32 million expansion of the successful Lower Fees, Local Skills initiative, which has slashed TAFE fees by up to 72 per cent on 180 courses – bringing the total investment in the program to $85.5 million;
  • $25 million for free short courses to upskill thousands of Western Australians;
  • $4.8 million for the Apprenticeship and Traineeship Re-engagement Incentive, providing financial support to employers who take on a displaced apprentice or trainee; and
  • $8.5 million for $20,000 incentives for defence manufacturing industry employers to train apprentices in key trades.