Apprentices TAFE fees axed in JobTrainer

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The federal government will team up with the states to pump $1bn into the TAFE system to make courses free or low-cost for apprentices in certain sectors, including printing, as part of its new $2.5bn Covid youth strategy JobTrainer.

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The deal depends on the states agreeing to transparency and a national approach, with the Commonwealth saying it will stump up $500m for TAFE if the states do the same. The NSW state government has already come on board with the new deal.

Print apprentice training has suffered in recent years due to the vacillations of state governments, with for instance the SA print TAFE suddenly closing, resulting in the print apprentices having to transfer to Holmesglen in Victoria to gain their qualifications.

Prime minister Scott Morrison said the TAFE sector was riddled with "inconsistency, incoherence and complexity", and the new deal was designed to create a simpler secure environment for both apprentices and employers

The Print & Visual Communication Association warmly welcomed the investment and the strategy. The association’s CEO, Andrew Macaulay said, “PVCA has been lobbying strongly for exactly what the prime minister has announced. Printers and their young people need certainty and commitment from the TAFEs, they need the costs minimised, they need nationwide standards, and they need to see that the states see TAFE as a long-term investment in youth training. We are delighted with the outcome.”

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