Labor will invest in digital skills of Australians

A Shorten Labor Government will allocate 5,000 fee-free digital and ICT TAFE places to help prepare Australians for the jobs of the future.

We need real change, because more of the same isn’t good enough.

This election will be a choice between a united Shorten Labor Government which will gives Australians the training they need to get the jobs of the future, or more of the Liberals’ cuts and chaos.

In government, Labor will also task its Apprenticeship Advocate to refresh and expand the digital traineeship pathway to help tackle digital skills shortages.

These moves are part of a broader push by Labor to drive the uptake of digital skills by Australians to help us better adapt to future technological change.

Australians will need ever-greater digital skills for our changing economy.

The Coalition has comprehensively failed to tackle skills shortages, including crippling digital skills shortages in Australia.

In the absence of a locally skilled workforce, businesses have relied increasingly on 457-style visas to meet their workforce needs.

Labor will waive upfront fees for 5,000 ICT students so they can go to TAFE and get the education and skill development they need. We want at least 50 per cent of those places to go to women.

In consultation with states and territories, we will identify and develop a set of approved courses for the places.

Areas of focus will likely include IT networking and systems administration, software and website development and UX/UI skills.

Labor’s Apprenticeship Advocate will partner with industry, unions, TAFE educators and experts to expand the reach of quality apprenticeships and traineeships in the ICT sector.

The Advocate will work with the partners to ensure high standards of on and off-the-job-training, leading to transferrable skills and qualifications.

In addition to this, Labor has already announced:

  • $25 million for a network of digital skills hubs to help boost the digital skills of 500,000 Australians living in our regions.
  • $4 million for a National Centre of AI Excellence in Melbourne.
  • $3 million to establish the first National Blockchain Academy in Perth.
  • A plan to drive greater industry investment in training by working with major government IT suppliers to ensure one in ten employees working on major government digital projects are digital apprentices or trainees.

Labor will also invest in revitalising TAFE’s digital infrastructure through:

  • $1 million for a Building Information Modelling and Digital Engineering Centre at Melbourne Polytechnic’s Preston campus.
  • $2 million for a cyber security training centre at the Kangan Institute, Broadmeadows TAFE.

After six years of the Liberals’ cuts and chaos, our united Labor team is ready to step forward with positive policies which will make a difference to average Australians.

End the chaos. Vote for change. Vote for Labor.

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