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5 years ago
A Shorten Labor Government has announced it will invest $5 million to help establish a Digital Skills Centre of Excellence.
This election will be a choice between a united Shorten Labor Government which will give Australians the training they need to get the jobs of the future, or more of the Liberals’ cuts and chaos.
Labor will work with state or territory governments as an equal partner to support the development of the Centre.
The announcement follows the decision yesterday by Federal Labor to waive the upfront fees of 5,000 TAFE students enrolling in qualifications for highly sought after digital skills.
These moves are part of a broader plan to better equip Australians for the workplace skills they need now and into the future.
As technology is used by businesses more and more to drive productivity and create stronger firms, the skills expectations of working Australians will change as well.
And if we want the nation to become more innovative and globally competitive, we need people with the skills to help achieve this.
Lifting skills is crucial to future employment security and better wages, which is why Labor is investing so heavily to best position Australians for the jobs of the future.
Besides massively cutting investments in education, the Coalition has been hopeless in addressing digital skills shortages.
It’s estimated we need 100,000 digital skilled workers between now and 2023.
In the absence of a locally skilled workforce, businesses have relied increasingly on 457-style visas to attract talent.
Labor is determined to make sure that we get Australians skilled up and ready for the jobs ahead.
Under this announcement, Labor’s will offer to work with a state or territory government prepared to co-invest in the development of a Digital Skills Centre of Excellence.
Australians would be trained in a Centre utilising the most up-to-date or emerging technology and, importantly, would actively develop training platforms that would help both metropolitan and regional based students.
The Centre would also bring together TAFE and digital training providers with a proven track record to help deliver modern skills development pathways.
Funding for the Centre will come from the $25 million investment Labor has set aside for the development of Regional Digital Skills Hubs.
In this federal election, Labor is the only major party with a comprehensive plan to prepare Australians for the jobs of the future.  Labor has announced:
  • A future Shorten Labor Government will waive upfront fees for 5,000 ICT students wanting to attend TAFE to access the skill development they need to secure jobs - and we will work to ensure at least 50 per cent of those places go to women
  • We will invest $25 million on a network of digital skills hubs to help boost the digital skills of 500,000 Australians living in our regions;
  •  We will commit funds to develop a $4m National Centre of AI Excellence in Melbourne;
  • $3m will be directed towards the establishment of the first National Blockchain Academy in Perth to help lift skills in this emerging technology;
  • Labor is committed to revitalising TAFE’s digital infrastructure through: $1 million for a Building Information Modelling and Digital Engineering Centre at Melbourne Polytechnic’s Preston campus and $2 million for a cyber security training centre at the Kangan Institute, Broadmeadows TAFE;
  •  Drive greater industry investment in training, by working with major IT suppliers to government to ensure that one in ten employees working on major government digital projects are digital apprentices or trainees;
  • Labor’s Apprenticeship Advocate will partner with industry, unions, TAFE educators and experts to expand the reach of quality apprenticeships and traineeships in the ICT sector;
  • To ensure emerging fintech startups aren't forced to relocate to the east coast of Australia, we will extend ASIC’s regulatory presence to Perth to provide fintechs with the support required right at the point they want to grow in WA.
Funding for this commitment has been included in Labor’s Fair Go Budget Plan, available at

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