As the Education State, the Victorian Government places education and training at the core of economic growth and prosperity for all.
As we rebuild after the disruptions of COVID and embark on new areas of growth and social investment, triggered by investment of this Government, accessible, contemporary and relevant post-school education and training is more critical than ever.
Since 2014, the Government has made a record $3.2 billion investment to rebuild TAFE, universities, Learn Locals and other training providers.
Vocational education has a fit-for purpose TAFE and training sector. Revitalised student services, training innovation, Skills and Jobs Centres at every TAFE and $457 million for TAFE capital improvements across the TAFE network. From 2023, the Free TAFE initiative will offer more than 80 courses and short courses.
More than 122,200 Victorians have signed up to Free TAFE courses since 2019. Free TAFE is making training and skilled jobs a reality for every Victorian, including 59 per cent more women, 46 per cent more students from culturally diverse backgrounds, 42 per cent more learners with a disability, 50 per cent more unemployed students and 22 per cent more students in regional Victoria participating over the last three years.
At the outset of the pandemic the Government invested in our universities, including $350 million for the Victorian Higher Education State Investment Fund and new partnership agreements with each university. These partnerships between the Government and each university signify an ongoing commitment to foster Victoria’s economic prosperity.
These foundations set Victoria up for a new focus on the Education State to drive growth. The review conducted by Hon Jenny Macklin – Future Skills for Victoria – highlighted skills as central to industry advancement, and inclusion as the pathway to open opportunity for more Victorians to access good paying jobs. It sits alongside the reforms of vocational and applied learning in senior schools, following the review conducted by John Firth.
The Victorian Skills Authority (VSA) and the Advisory Board have been established to analyse and advise on skills for Victoria. $85.9 million was provided to establish the VSA, which opened its doors on 1 July 2021. In the first six months of 2021 the Government sought to build a connected up system through the establishment of Apprenticeships Victoria and the Office of TAFE Coordination and Delivery, working with other areas of the Department of Education and Training including a dedicated Adult, Community and Further Education Division.
The VSA is working alongside these new arrangements to deliver a shared mission of collaboration and collective impact. The Advisory Board, appointed in October 2021, brings expertise and independent advice to Government spanning the journey to skilled employment and endeavour for all Victorians.
I have commissioned the VSA to develop an annual Victorian Skills Plan to lay the foundation for skilling for Victoria’s future success. The inaugural plan, launched on 22 August 2022, sets out a skills roadmap.
Collaboration and collective impact are the foundations of this vision and core to the strategic mission of the VSA. Joint effort in Victoria and with the new Federal Government, especially in shared funding and priority setting, sets Victoria’s approach to skills on a strong footing.
My commitment is to accessible skilling pathways for all Victorians, known for high quality, that meets industry, community and student aspirations.
The Hon. Gayle Tierney MLA
Minister for Training and
Skills Minister for Higher Education
Reviewed 21 December 2022