New South Wales skills demand surges this National Skills Week

The Australian Government has unveiled data showing demand in New South Wales for Fee-Free TAFE and vocational education and training (VET) places is high as the state gears up to celebrate National Skills Week (21-27 August).
During the week, schools, TAFEs, universities, governments and employers across the country unite to raise awareness of the benefits to individuals and their communities of VET training and education.
This year, the 13th year of National Skills Week, Minister for Skills and Training, Brendan O’Connor, and Member for Werriwa, Ms Anne Stanley MP, revealed the latest data shows big enrolment numbers for NSW in skills programs.
The data shows:
• 65,108 people in New South Wales have enrolled in Fee-Free TAFE
• The top three Fee-Free TAFE courses in NSW are Certificate III in School Based Education Support, Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care, and Certificate III in Business.
• 192 people in New South Wales have enrolled in New Energy Apprenticeships.
This year’s Skills Week theme, “What Are You Looking For,” celebrates how vocational education can help you no matter the career you’re looking for.
Last week in Melbourne, 470 young Australians from the VET sector competed at the WorldSkills Australia National Championships for the honour of being part of the Skillaroos team for 2024.
The Skillaroos, whose skills include everything from bakery to cyber security, will represent Australia at the 47th WorldSkills competition in Lyon, France. WorldSkills showcases the best the world has to offer from the VET sector.
Throughout 2023, the Australian Government has provided a significant boost to the VET sector by delivering 180,000 Fee-Free TAFE and Vocational Education Training (VET) places.
That will be built upon next year. Pending negotiations with states and territories, the Commonwealth will invest more than $400 million to provide another 300,000 Fee-Free TAFE places from 2024.
Comprehensive career information can be obtained at, with information about National Skills Week at
Quotes from Minister for Skills and Training Brendan O’Connor
“The Australian Government is giving more Australians the opportunity to develop their career path and to access well paid and secure jobs with a future.
“We are rebuilding and modernising the skills sector with TAFE at its heart to ensure a stronger and more resilient economy.
“There are many different career paths, and the journey will be unique to every Australian, no matter their age, but I urge Australians to consider how rewarding a VET pathway could be.”
Quotes attributable to the Member for Werriwa, Ms Anne Stanley MP:
“VET career pathways not only offer fulfillment on a personal level, but they also provide the vital skills NSW needs to be economically competitive.
“National Skills Week is a time to celebrate apprentices, trainees, TAFE students, and the skills sector who are all contributing to our future prosperity.
“It’s time to recognise that a career choice through VET is equal to any other and offers a fulfilling, rewarding and secure employment future.”