WITH the state election fast approaching, NSW Labor have unveiled a plan to make TAFE courses free in skill shortage areas for more than 600,000 students.
The ten-year plan would start with child care, disability care, aged care, construction, plumbing, and electrical trades in a bid to help people find jobs in industries that are “crying out for more workers”.
Country Labor candidate for the Upper Hunter Melanie Dagg said Labor's free TAFE policy is both a jobs plan for the Upper Hunter and a way to fill skill shortages for businesses and services in our region.
She also said Labor had a plan to boost local roads, with the party today announcing that if elected in March they will support local councils and invest an additional $900 million in regional and rural roads.
"After eight years of Liberal and Nationals neglect, Labor will get this road backlog on the right path so we have better and safer roads,” Melanie Dagg said.
"Country Labor has a plan for our roads and also a plan to create roads to jobs and prosperity with our Free TAFE commitment.
“The Upper Hunter will benefit when kids and retaining workers get the skills they need."
Labor vowed to restore TAFE to its rightful place as the premier public provider of vocational education and training across NSW, ensuring that skill shortages are being addressed, especially in rural and regional communities.
They also pledged to utilise existing public infrastructure to create opportunities for people to develop their skills, by requiring 20 per cent of work on major NSW Government construction projects to be allocated to a combination of apprentices, trainees, indigenous Australians and long term unemployed.
If the TAFE plan goes ahead, Labor says by 2023 it is expected there will be 85,000 more jobs in the health care and social assistance sectors in NSW compared to 2018 and 41,000 more jobs in the construction industry.