Skills First: Real Training For Real Jobs In Ballarat

Local MPs Sharon Knight and Geoff Howard welcomed the Andrews Labor Government’s Skills First reforms which will deliver increased funding to secure the future of TAFE at Federation University.

The changes will result in a high quality, stable TAFE system that restores the confidence of students, employers and industry, and transforms training in the Ballarat area.

Skills First features a more focused training sector with government, industry, TAFE and quality training providers working in partnership to provide government funded training.

Starting with $114 million in 2017, Victoria’s TAFEs – including Federation University – will receive additional funding recognising their role as public providers helping Victorians access real training for real jobs, providing an opportunity for disadvantaged learners.

In addition, each year, Victoria’s training providers will have access to three targeted funding streams; in 2017:
• $30 million for the Regional and Specialist Training fund;
• $20 million to support high needs learners; and
• $40 million Workforce Training Innovation Fund – promoting innovative training and skills in emerging and priority industries.

The reformed system – which will be introduced progressively from January 2017 – follows last year’s response to the independent VET Funding Review led by Bruce Mackenzie.

The Andrews Labor Government inherited a training and TAFE system in disarray with regional Victoria neglected by the former Coalition Government.

The Labor Government has invested heavily in TAFEs, including the $320 million TAFE Rescue Fund and our $50 million TAFE Back to Work Fund.  This has included $9.4 million for Federation University TAFE.

The Government has also cracked down on dodgy providers, with a quality blitz and tough new training contracts. For more details on the new system, go to

Quote attributable to Geoff Howard MP
“This new model will help secure new apprenticeship and traineeship opportunities in partnership with industry and employers to match skills needed for jobs of the future.”

Quote attributable to Sharon Knight MP
“Skills First will mean a strong and stable TAFE in Ballarat, and will give confidence to students in our region that they are getting real training for real jobs.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Training and Skills Steve Herbert
“With Skills First we’re making sure Victorian students have access to real training that will lead to a real job so they don’t waste their time and money on courses that won’t get them a job.”