Free Tafe for Central Queenslanders

125 students in Rockhampton have already taken advantage of free tafe to gain the skills and training they need for a bright future in the growing industries in the region.

Minister for Training and Skills Development Shannon Fentiman today met diesel fitting apprentices who are well on their way to completing their Cert III in Engineering at CQU TAFE.

“We want to make sure our young Queenslanders have access to the best training for the jobs of the future,” Ms Fentiman said.

“That’s why we are investing in Queensland apprentices and trainees with initiatives such as free tafe with 160 qualifications on offer for free to all year 12 graduates.

“That includes 24 courses right here in Rockhampton in exciting industries such as engineering, construction, horticulture and hospitality.”

Member for Rockhampton Barry O’Rourke encouraged recent year 12 graduates in Rockhampton to consider the exciting opportunities vocational education and training can provide.

“The most popular courses at CQU TAFE in Rockhampton are in education, engineering and accounting,” Mr O’Rourke said.

“We want young Queenslanders to be able to get the skills and training they need to build a lifelong career and that’s what vocational education and training (VET) can provide.”

“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to engaging more people with the VET sector in order to develop the skilled workforce our economy needs to keep growing and drive further innovation.”

Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga highlighted the importance of vocational education and training for Queenslanders to find work in existing and emerging industries.

“Here in Central Queensland we know the manufacturing industry is continuing to grow,” Ms Lauga said.

“Vocational education and training is vital to so many jobs and launches people into rewarding careers.

“And more than half of all jobs by 2020 will require a VET qualification.

“That’s why investing in training is so important to ensuring we have the skilled workforce for the jobs of the future.”

Ms Fentiman said the Palaszczuk Government is investing in TAFE and apprentices in Queensland.

“The LNP in Canberra have continued to pile on more than $3 billion in cuts to skills and training in their latest budget,” Ms Fentiman said.

“The Budget delivered $525 million with one hand, but snatched away $649 million with the other.”

“Scott Morrison’s so-called Skills Package was actually a cuts package off more than $120 million.

“We are going backwards in training in skills under the LNP at a time we should be surging forward.”

“Without our fair share from Canberra, the Palaszczuk Government continues to invest in a range of programs that support Queenslanders to access training and skills through our $777.9 million VET Investment Plan.

“This includes free tafe.

“This is in stark contrast to Federal Labor who will commit $1 billion towards TAFE and apprentices through 100,000 free TAFE places nationally, incentives for 150,000 additional apprentices and $200 million for TAFE infrastructure.

“This is a true partnership – something we never see from the LNP.”

Free tafe for year 12 graduates will cover the full cost of training in high priority qualifications and will assist local employers recruit apprentices and trainees.

Eligibility criteria, advice for people interested in taking up a training course and other information on accessing this free training funded by the Queensland Government is available from

For extra help and support, call the Training Queensland Customer Centre on 1300 369 935.

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