AEU Statement on Jobs and Skills Australia

The Australian Education Union has welcomed the swift action taken by the Albanese Government for the interim establishment of Jobs and Skills Australia as a statutory body to tackle Australia’s skills shortage.

During the introduction of the bill in Parliament yesterday, Minister for Skills and Training Brendan O’Connor acknowledged the role TAFE will play in rebuilding Australia’s skills pipeline.

“The AEU welcomes the Minister’s acknowledgment of TAFE. These comments are refreshing to hear, especially after almost a decade of neglect for TAFE under the former Coalition Government.

“TAFE is well positioned to meet the challenges facing our economy today and to provide a highly skilled workforce for many industries, including those facing critical shortages such as the early childhood education, aged care and the health sectors.

“As the anchor institution for the provision of high-quality vocational education to all Australians, TAFE is central to the skills agenda. There can be no conversation about skills and workforce planning without mentioning the crucial role TAFE plays and will continue playing in the upcoming years.”

This is the first piece of legislation the Albanese Government has introduced in the parliament, clearly setting skills as a national priority. The bill is explicitly tripartite in its approach and recognises the essential role that unions have in the national skills agenda. 

“The AEU looks forward to working with Minister O’Connor and the Albanese Government 

to ensure that TAFE has the funding, infrastructure and teaching workforce needed to meet Australia’s skills demands,” Ms Haythorpe said.