The NSW Government will build a new $80 million TAFE campus in Western Sydney and will deliver an additional 100,000 free TAFE and VET courses over the next four years.
These additional courses will be made up of 70,000 new fee-free courses for young job seekers taking on traineeships and 30,000 free TAFE places for mature aged workers seeking retraining or re-entry into the workforce.
The new Western Sydney TAFE will aim to produce 700 new tradies each year and deliver specialised training in construction trades will skill shortages.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the announcement would help young job seekers launch their careers in construction, carpentry, electrical and plumbing.
“There is an unprecedented demand for more skilled workers in NSW thanks to our booming economy, record low unemployment rate of 3.9 percent, and unprecedented $90 billion investment in new infrastructure,” Berejiklian said.
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“This brings the total number of free TAFE and VET courses we are offering over the next four years to nearly 700,000 places.
“We know the costs associated with further education and training can be prohibitive, so these additional free courses will ensure people who wish to access training to start their career or secure another job have the best opportunity.”
Deputy Premier and Minister for Skills John Barilaro said the new places were on top of the almost 150,000 free apprenticeship, TAFE and VET courses already offered each year.
“As a former tradie I know first-hand just how rewarding a career in a trade can be, and how important it is to give people a chance to get a start in life,” Barilaro said.
“These courses will help the next generation of job seekers to join the workforce.
“We are going to deliver around 700,000 free TAFE and VET courses over the next four years to people right across NSW with a focus on those who need it most.”
Minister responsible for TAFE NSW Adam Marshall said the new TAFE campus in Western Sydney would boost TAFE’s ability to train the state’s future tradies.
“Already we’re seeing soaring demand for construction trade enrolments at TAFE thanks to our infrastructure boom and with these additional free courses you can be assured we’ll see even more demand,” Marshall said.
“This commitment to TAFE and VET will ensure there is a pipeline of skilled workers to keep driving the NSW economy forward and get the job done.”
Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said being able to invest in more fee-free training and better TAFE facilities was a direct result of a strong NSW economy with near record low unemployment.
“The NSW economy is booming, we have added more than 420,000 jobs in the past four years, and set an ambitious target of 250,000 new jobs,” Perrottet said.
“Many of those jobs will be working on projects which result directly from our infrastructure projects right across NSW.
“It’s only through our strong financial management that we are able to not only deliver free courses for hundreds of thousands of people, but ensure there are jobs for people when they complete their training.”
The location of the new Western Sydney TAFE is yet to be determined.