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Thousands more to benefit from free TAFE for trades to combat skills shortage

As part of the NSW State Budget, an additional 70,000 people across the state will receive fee-free TAFE training in bid to help address current skills shortages.

NSW treasurer Matt Kean will hand down his first state budget on Tuesday June 21, 2022.

He said the 2022-23 NSW Budget would invest $82.7 million over four years to accelerate the skills boom and help to deliver the lowest state-wide unemployment rate on record at 3.5 per cent.

The new investment in an additional 70,000 fee-free TAFE training places is in addition to the 100,000 fee-free apprenticeships and 70,000 fee-free traineeships already being delivered by the NSW Government.

The new funding will cover eligible courses across a broad range of industries, including transport and warehousing.

Tens of thousands of future tradies are having their education fees covered in a bid to plug holes in the skills shortage across NSW.

Since 2019 80,000 people have trained in their trade for free, and today the state government announced another 70,000 will benefit. This is in addition to the 100,000 fee-free positions already available.

The free apprenticeships are all in high demand industries including horticulture, automotive, business, community, health and construction. 

Developers are also welcoming the program, with Josef Alsalami from New Vision saying he’s had to turn down jobs because he didn’t have enough people to work them.

“I would rather do that than fall behind,” he said. “It’s hard to get carpenters and builders.”