Free TAFE on the cards for NSW educators in Labor pre-election pledge

Free TAFE on the cards for NSW educators in Labor pre-election pledge

by Freya Lucas

February 11, 2019

Should a Labor Government be successful in winning the upcoming New South Wales election, it has pledged to make TAFE study free for more than 600,000 certificate level places, including early childhood education and care (ECEC), in a bid to combat skills shortages expected over the next decade.


The NSW Labor party described the move as a way to assist people to find employment in sectors that are “crying out for more workers”, such as ECEC, adding the plan would “make TAFE genuinely accessible to all, whether they are school leavers, people re-skilling or changing careers”.

The move echos that made by the Victorian Labor party, prior to the Victorian election held late in 2018, and is consistent with a proposal put forward by the Australian Labor Party, pledging to fund TAFE courses in ECEC.

Reinstating funding to the TAFE sector and opening up fee-free places would “restore TAFE to its rightful place as the premier public provider of vocational education and training across NSW, ensuring that skill shortages are being addressed, especially in rural and regional communities,” a spokesperson said.

Labor candidate for Lane Cove Andrew Zbik applauded the announcement, saying it would change lives. “Free TAFE is the ultimate jobs plan. It will deliver the skilled workforce of the future and revitalise the vocational education system after eight years of neglect by the Liberals and Nationals,” Mr Zbik said.