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CIT at centre of National Skills Agreement launch

Published: 19 Oct 2023

Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT) has welcomed the National Skills Agreement (NSA), hosting the landmark announcement at CIT's Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Laboratory in Fyshwick.

Alongside CIT teachers, staff and students, Prime Minster Anthony Albanese launched the 5-year National Skills Agreement, which was developed under principles agreed by National Cabinet and will take effect from January 2024.

The NSA will involve co-investment by the Commonwealth, state and territory governments, with the Australian Government announcing it is prepared to invest $12.6 billion to expand and transform access to vocational education and training.

CIT Interim CEO Christine Robertson welcomed the increased focus on vocational education and training as the nation looks to address skills shortages.

"The Federal and ACT Governments made it clear that TAFE has to be at the heart of the vocational education and training sector, and so it was incredible that CIT was the setting for this nationally significant announcement," Ms Robertson said.

"A priority skills area outlined in the National Skills Agreement is clean energy and Net Zero transformation of the economy. By hosting today's event at our Electric Vehicle Lab, CIT continues to show how we can deliver innovative, relevant and quality training that can advance the ACT workforce of now and the future.

"CIT is in an exciting era of progress and the National Skills Agreement gives us the opportunity to continue building on this momentum. CIT will continue to be at the forefront of future jobs growth in the ACT."

A key component of the NSA is the extended delivery of Fee-Free TAFE, a national initiative launched this year to increase accessibility to vocational education and training. Ms Robertson said CIT had already started to address some of the priority areas outlined in the NSA, and important to the ACT, including the electrification of the Territory, the care sector and cyber security.

"CIT has successfully reached our target of 2,530 enrolments for Fee-Free TAFE in 2023 and, significantly, more than 1,000 enrolments have been in the care sector, in skilled areas of demand such as childcare, aged care, disability care and community services. CIT has also seen a strong uptake of qualifications and short courses in cyber security, with the Certificate IV Cyber Security the most popular of all Fee-Free TAFE courses with 264 enrolments," Ms Robertson said.

"Importantly, Fee-Free TAFE has enabled CIT to provide more accessible education and training to priority student cohorts such as women in financial hardship, young people aged 17-24, job seekers, unpaid carers and Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander peoples.

"We look forward to soon announcing our Fee-Free TAFE places for 2024 and I'd encourage anyone considering vocational education and training to attend CIT Open Day on Friday 17 November."