The NSW Government is following through on its election commitment to help more people get quality jobs by committing $2.3 billion in the 2019-20 NSW Budget towards vocational education and training.

Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education Geoff Lee said the Government is dedicated to strengthening our VET sector as a means of preparing the most dynamic, qualified and skilled workforce.

“Providing pathways for people to gain the right skills and training is a key priority for this Government,” Dr Lee said.

“We are working to ensure that you can receive the highest quality education and training, no matter where you live or what your circumstances are.

“We remain committed to reforming TAFE NSW to further strengthen its place as the nation’s biggest education and training provider.”

The NSW Government’s investment in TAFE NSW in the Budget is a commitment of $1.85 billion, an increase of 3.1 per cent. Funding for TAFE NSW accounts for 80 per cent of the State’s skills budget.

The NSW government has allocated $71 million over four years for 100,000 free courses, bringing the total number of free TAFE and VET courses we are offering over the period to almost 700,000 places.

The 100,000 additional courses will be made up of 70,000 new fee-free courses for young jobseekers taking on traineeships and 30,000 free TAFE places for mature-aged workers seeking to retrain or re-enter the workforce.

This is in addition to the existing capital works budget that will deliver over $137 million in investment to support 17 major capital works projects at TAFE NSW in 2019-20.

The NSW Government is also committed to delivering an $80 million new TAFE NSW super campus in Western Sydney, eight additional Connected Learning Centres and two vocational high schools to be located in Western Sydney and the North Coast.

“Investment in education and training is critical to the success of our State’s economy, creating a pipeline of skilled workers to keep driving the NSW economy forward,” Dr Lee said.