More people across regional NSW will be given the opportunity to access the training they need to get a job and get ahead with an additional 100,000 free TAFE courses thanks to the Nationals in Government.

NSW Nationals Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson said this announcement would bring the total number of free TAFE courses being offered to nearly 700,000 over the next four years.

“This is great news for our young people and mature aged students seeking a career pathway and wanting to train local, to stay local,” Mr Anderson said. “These free courses will cover areas with key skills shortages, such as aged care, childcare, information and communication technology and construction.”

“We know the costs associated with further education and training can be prohibitive for those in our communities doing it tough and battling rising cost of living pressures. That’s why were removing cost barriers to ensure those who wish to access TAFE training to start their career or secure another job can.”

“We’ve already made some big announcements for TAFE in the regions, including a $3 million investment to upgrade and expand TAFE course opportunities and choice for students in Gunnedah,” Mr Anderson said. “The funding includes expanded specialist trades training workshops, adaptable workspaces and upgraded equipment to deliver world class training opportunities. The new facilities will build flexibility into local teaching facilities, and allow Gunnedah TAFE to respond to local skills demands. There will be an adaptable workspace to expand capacity to deliver a wider range of trade courses locally in Gunnedah, in some cases, for the very first time.”

The 100,000 additional courses will be made up of 70,000 new fee-free courses for young job-seekers taking on traineeships and 30,000 free TAFE places for mature-aged workers.

The free courses would target those in the community who need it most, and would build on the free courses already being offered to apprentices and disadvantaged people.