24 April, 2024
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A Minns Labor Government will support NSW TAFE to deliver the long-term strategies needed to resolve the state wide skills shortage, starting with a guarantee that a minimum of 70% of total skills funding will go to TAFE and a review of the vocational education system.
Years of neglect from the Liberal National Government has left New South Wales with a shell of a vocational system. 14 TAFE campuses have been sold. Over a third of staff have been sacked. The number of people finishing apprenticeships and traineeships has more than halved and enrolments have plummeted by over 100,000 students.
NSW Labor will create a vocational system that is available for everyone, whether you didn’t finish school or you were Dux, for people with a disability or those who do not speak English as a first language. NSW TAFE will be available and accessible for everyone who wants to learn a skill.
The guarantee of 70% secured funding by Labor will provide TAFE with the financial stability it needs to flourish. The proportion of funding allocated to TAFE each year is trending down and if this continues it risks going below 70%. By guaranteeing a minimum percentage of the skills and training budget, TAFE will have the certainty it needs to continue providing quality education.
Labor will also tackle the conditions of hard-working TAFE teachers starting with an open dialogue with the sector and the abolishment of the Liberal National Government’s wages cap which has been a handbrake on productivity for twelve years.
Manufacturing Centres of Excellence will be established in the Hunter, the Illawarra and Western Sydney to set TAFE up to address the long term training needs of New South Wales.
Tim Crakanthorp, Shadow Minister for Skills and TAFE said:
“NSW are in a skills crisis. In just 12 months the number of occupations of National Skills Priority List has almost doubled. The Liberal National Government has not just resided over a teacher and nurses shortage, we also need more skilled workers such as mechanics and auditors.
“These commitments are the first step in righting the wrongs of the last decade of mismanagement.
“Only a Minns Labor Government will restore TAFE to what it used to be and re-skill NSW.

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