Albanese Government Delivers More University and VET Training Places




The Albanese Labor Government is delivering on the commitment to provide more university places and fee-free TAFE and vocational education places to deliver the skilled workforce we need now and in the future.

More teachers, nurses and engineers will be trained after 20,000 extra university places were allocated to courses in areas of critical skills needs.

This delivers on the Albanese Government’s commitment to provide 20,000 extra university places to train more Australians.

It will provide extra places for people studying bachelor and sub-bachelor courses in areas of skills need across 42 successful higher education providers.

Higher education providers have been allocated places in the following areas:

  • 4,036 places in education, including 1,469 for early education teachers
  • 2,600 places in nursing
  • 2,275 in IT 
  • 2,740 in health professions like pharmacy and health science
  • 1,738 in engineering.

The remaining courses will be offered in other areas of skills shortage.

The 20,000 additional places will be allocated to students under-represented at Australian universities including those from poorer backgrounds, Indigenous Australians and students from rural and remote Australia.

The extra places will mean more Australians from these backgrounds training to be teachers, nurses, health professionals, engineers and other areas where we have a skills shortage.

The five higher education providers receiving the most funding for additional places are:

  • Charles Darwin University 
  • University of Wollongong 
  • Curtin University 
  • Edith Cowan University 
  • University of Newcastle.

The additional places will be for students starting next year and in 2024 with an investment of up to $485.5 million over the next four years.

The Government is also delivering 180,000 fee-free TAFE and vocational education places, with extra support for participation of women and other disadvantaged groups.

This initiative is a key Budget measure of the Albanese Labor Government and is part of the broader commitment to deliver 480,000 fee-free TAFE and vocational education places, commencing with 180,000 training places in 2023, to support industries experiencing skills shortages to be delivered in partnership with States and Territories. Extra training places will be delivered in the critical skill shortage areas: 

  • Care, including aged care, early education and care, health care, disability care
  • Technology and Increasing digital skills.
  • Hospitality and tourism;
  • Construction;
  • Agriculture; and
  • Increasing our sovereign capability in areas like manufacturing, and Defence.

It also comes with a commitment to provide access to priority cohorts including women and Indigenous Australia, and those living with disability.

The Albanese Government will deliver $550 million this Budget as part of the 12-month National Skills Agreement, with funding matched by States and Territories. Discussions with States and Territories are underway regarding the specific funding and places in each state and territory consistent with other Federal Financing arrangements.

Quotes attributable to Education Minister Jason Clare:

“This means more teachers, nurses and engineers and it means more Australians from poor families and rural and remote Australia doing these jobs. That’s life-changing.”

Quotes attributable to Skills and Training Minister Brendan O’Connor:

“After a decade of inaction by the previous Government, Labor is wasting no time to address the skills shortages the country faces. These fee-free training places will provide Australians opportunities to get trained for the jobs in demand now and in the future and deliver to business the skilled workers they need.”