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Press releases

23 Oct 2020

Survey shows almost all Australians want federal funding increase to TAFE

A Fifty Acres-Pollinate Survey among a nationally representative sample of 1001 Australians aged 18+ has found that almost all Australians feel it’s important that federal funding to TAFE is increased in order to help recovery from the recession.


94% of those surveyed said it was important that federal government increase funding to TAFE for the post-recession rebuild and recovery, with 45% saying it was “very important”. Just 2% said it was not important.


Quotes attributable to Meredith Peace, Federal Deputy President of the Australian Education Union:


“This survey vindicates our call for the Federal Government to abandon the market model of vocational education and immediately increase TAFE funding.”


“The people of Australia trust and respect TAFE and it is time for the Scott Morrison government to show the same trust and respect by providing TAFE the funding it needs.”


“TAFE is perfectly positioned to be a critical institution in the post-COVID-19 rebuild and recovery of Australia – the public recognises this, so why doesn’t Scott Morrison?”


“We’ve just had a federal budget that was silent on TAFE and provided absolutely no new funding. Why is the Morrison government so ideologically opposed to doing what almost all Australian’s see as common sense – boost funding to TAFE for the sake of Australia’s recovery?”


How important is it that the federal government increase funding to TAFE for the post-recession rebuild and recovery? (%)




About Fifty Acres-Pollinate Poll

The Fifty Acres-Pollinate Poll is a resource for serious journalism and not-for-profit advocacy in Australia - leading media outlets and NFPs are invited to submit questions and gratis that will form part of the fortnightly polls. The partnership between Canberra’s leading engagement agency Fifty Acres and strategic research consultancy, Pollinate, is a new entrant in the Australian polling landscape in 2020 and takes a very different approach to ascertain how Australians think and feel about a range of issues.


Methodology Overview

The poll is an online survey conducted amongst 1,000 Australians aged 18+. The poll sample is nationally representative with quotas based on 2016 ABS statistics on key demographics including age, gender & region.

17 Feb 2021

Federal Govt must ‘Rebuild with TAFE’ to create a positive future for all

The Australian Education Union (AEU) is calling on governments across the country to make TAFE their first priority as Australia looks to rebuild from the COVID-19 pandemic and tackle the country’s skills crisis.


The AEU launched the ‘Rebuild with TAFE’ campaign in Canberra today and used the launch to call on governments to properly fund TAFE and maximise the system’s potential to assist with the economic re-build, re-skill and upskill workers, address the apprentice shortage, reduce youth unemployment and provide career pathways for all Australians.


AEU Federal President Correna Haythorpe said the TAFE system is a hugely valuable asset that is being neglected by the Federal Government and many state governments.


“We’re launching the Rebuild with TAFE campaign because we’re sick of governments and politicians putting TAFE last and letting a critical part of Australia’s economy and education sector waste away.”


TAFE has seen its funding cut by $3 billion since 2013 and is also suffering from the Federal Government’s privatisation agenda which has driven people away from TAFE and increased the amount of low-quality private training providers.


“All over Australia TAFE institutes are struggling with the impact of these funding cuts and poor policy decisions resulting in the loss of jobs and the cutting of courses. This is disastrous for the communities they support and must be addressed urgently.”


Australia is facing many challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic and as the public provider of vocational education TAFE is best placed to address those challenges if it is properly funded and supported.


“Australia currently has a shortage of 200,000 apprentices while at the same time we also have plenty of Australians who are out of work. Rebuilding with TAFE will help our unemployed to re-train, upskill or get an apprenticeship and gain meaningful employment.


“The National Cabinet itself has determined that skills is one of the six key priorities for the government, yet the Federal Government won’t properly fund the public provider of vocational education. That doesn’t make any sense.”

TAFE is responsible for $92.5 billion per year in annual economic benefit to Australia, 16 times more than the annual cost to maintain the provider, but these longstanding and ongoing benefits would be permanently lost if governments fail to rebuild with TAFE.


A 2020 national survey found that 94 per cent of Australians want to see more federal funding for TAFE and research has consistently found that Australians see TAFE as a vital part of Australia’s education sector that can provide career, social and economic opportunities for people from a wide range of backgrounds.


Proper funding for TAFE will increase available courses, increase the number of campuses, and ensure high quality vocational education that will improve the lives of millions of Australians.


“Australians trust and support TAFE and know the system can help re-build our economy, but we need our governments and politicians to show that same support by investing in TAFE to rebuild Australia socially and economically.


“TAFE touches so many aspects of our society and economy from the arts and fashion, to construction, health and early childhood education, to opportunities for young people in rural and regional areas, and we cannot afford to lose it.


“As we head to the next federal election, all political parties must commit to rebuilding with TAFE and we’ll be campaigning to make sure they understand how important this issue is to our communities.”