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The Albanese Government’s 2023 – 2024 Budget: Rebuilding and Modernising Australia’s Skills Sector

The Albanese Government’s 2023-2024 Budget is an important tool to help rebuild and modernise the nation’s skills sector so Australians can get better and more secure jobs that can also boost the economy.

With the LNP’s failure to deliver skills reform resulting in shortages and work gaps, the government has made it a priority to skill and train the workforce by delivering 180,000 Fee Free TAFE and Vocational Education and Training (VET) places in 2023, and investing in financial support for apprentices, particularly those choosing to take on a New Energy Apprenticeship.

According to Minister for Skills and Training Hon Brendan O’Connor MP, the 2023-2024 Budget serves as an essential tool to address the nation’s skills challenges and thus will seek to increase the number of Fee Free TAFE and VET places in high-skill areas to 300,000 form 2024-2026, with the help of the $400 million Budget from October 2022.

What Does the Albanese Government’s 2023 – 2024 Budget Aim to Deliver?

To ensure that Australians from all background and cultures are included in the plan, the Albanese Government’s 2023-2024 Budget aims to do the following:

More access to VET with TAFE at the centre through the National Skills Agreement

The National Skills Agreement (NSA) has made possible the addition of $3.7 billion for vocational education and training with TAFE at the centre. NSA will focus on gender equality and women’s participation in labour markets while jurisdictions will work on national skills priorities including how to transform to a net zero economy.

Reforming the Commonwealth’s way of delivering Foundation Skills programs

A $436 million budget will be used to aid Australians of 15 years old and above improve their literacy, numeracy, and digital skills.

Additional Budget for the Australian Apprenticeship

An additional $54.3 million in critical Australian Apprenticeship is given to improve the quality of services for women, First Nations people, CALD apprentices, and people with disability to complete their apprenticeship.

Incoming Budget for the Australian Skills Guarantee

A total of $8.6 million will be provided to deliver the Australia Skills Guarantee and introduce national targets for apprentices, trainees and paid cadets working on Australian Government funded major infrastructure and ICT projects.

Additional funding to establish a defence vocational skills taskforce

A $3.9 million additional funding is given to set up a defence vocational skills taskforce to develop the workforce needed to shape the sovereign industrial base and support the country’s delivery of the nuclear submarine program.

Upgrade under the VET Student Loan program

A budget of $42.2 million is distributed to develop a modern fit-for-purpose IT system for the VET Student Loan program, an upgrade that is considered long overdue.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the Albanese Government’s 2023-2024 Budget aims to rebuild and modernise Australia’s skills sector to address the nation’s skills challenges and improve the economy. The government’s priority is to skill and train the workforce, with plans to deliver 180,000 Fee Free TAFE and VET places in 2023 and increase that number to 300,000 by 2024 – 2026.

The Albanese Government’s 2023-2024 Budget also includes more funding for apprenticeships, vocational skills, and IT systems, among others. Overall, the Budget is an essential tool for addressing Australia’s skill shortages and gaps and ensuring that Australians from all backgrounds and cultures can take part in the plan.

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