A new National Skills Agreement

The new 5-year National Skills Agreement (NSA) commenced on 1 January 2024, and is a joint agreement between the Australian and state and territory governments to strengthen vocational education and training (VET) in Australia, unlocking billions of dollars to build the skills and prosperity of Queensland.

The NSA, developed under principles agreed by National Cabinet, embeds national cooperation and supports strategic investment in Queensland's VET sector.

The NSA commits up to $2.54 billion of Australian Government investment for Queensland, to support Queensland's ongoing strong investment in skills and training, which will expand and transform access to the VET sector, support quality training, and implement reforms to address critical skills needs.

This investment is on top of the $414 million committed by the Australian Government for the delivery of 300,000 Fee-Free TAFE places nationally from 2024 to 2026, and an additional $88.8 million committed by the Australian Government, as part of the 2024–25 Federal Budget, to work with states and territories to deliver a further 20,000 Fee-Free TAFE and VET places from January 2025 to boost the supply of workers in the construction industry.

The NSA will coordinate strategic investment in skills across the economy and support delivery of skills needed in national priority areas, as well as providing states and territories with flexibility to meet local industry skills needs.

Agreed inaugural national priorities under the NSA are:

  • gender equality
  • Closing the Gap
  • supporting the Net Zero transformation
  • sustaining essential care services
  • developing Australia's sovereign capability and food security
  • ensuring Australia's digital and technology capability
  • delivering housing supply
  • delivering reforms to improve the regulation of VET qualifications and quality.

Read more about the NSA and stay informed on National Skills Reform.

Details of how the Queensland Government will deliver on the NSA will be outlined in Queensland's recently announced Skills Strategy.

Skills Reform areas

Skills Ministers continue to be committed to improved industry engagement arrangements, quality and qualifications reforms.

Find out more about and be a part of Skills Reform:

  • Strengthened role of industry and employers in the VET system
    • 10 Jobs and Skills Councils have been established to provide industry with a stronger, more strategic voice in ensuring Australia's VET sector delivers stronger outcomes for learners and employers.
    • Find out more about Jobs and Skills Councils.
  • Improved VET qualifications design
    • Following public consultation, a tripartite Qualification Reform Design Group was established to further progress qualifications reform.
    • The Qualification Reform Design Group presented their initial advice to Skills Ministers in March 2024, which proposes a revised system of designing qualifications based on their purpose. The proposed revised system will be piloted during 2024. Further information can be found in the Qualification Reform Design Group update.
    • Find out more about qualifications reforms.
  • Supporting high-quality training delivery
    • To provide immediate benefits to the sector, early changes to the Standards for Registered Training Organisations commenced on 1 March 2024. Learn more about these changes.
    • The revised Standards for Registered Training Organisations are expected to be publicly released in August 2024, and will come into full regulatory effect from 1 July 2025.
    • The VET Workforce Blueprint will identify opportunities and associated actions to support and grow a sustainable VET workforce in Australia, including for regional Australia. The Blueprint will respond to the key themes of understanding, growing, retaining, and developing the workforce, and will be released by August 2024.
    • Find out more about quality reforms.

A range of resources are also available on VET sector reforms, through the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations.

Last updated 29 May 2024

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