Study Finds Australians Lean Toward Free Education As The Quickest Fix for Skills Shortage

A recent study conducted by Immigration to Australia has revealed that most Australians believe offering free education or more affordable TAFE and university courses would be the fastest solution to the skill shortage.

The Skills Priority List, which shows what occupations are in shortage nearly doubled, jumping from 152 to 286 in one year.

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The study covers respondents across all age groups and states sharing their views on the matter.

The age group between 18 and 34 years old are more likely to engage in educational pursuits, resulting in more education-related solutions.

Findings also show that 12 per cent of respondents believed that increasing Australia’s intake of skilled migrants could effectively address the skills shortage. 

The Minister for Skills and Training, Brendan O’Connor, said the Albanese Government planned to materially reform the vocational education and training (VET) sector.

“TAFE is one of our greatest assets for ensuring our country is well positioned for future skills challenges, and meeting those challenges will be no small feat,” she said.

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“Upon entering government, I was immediately struck by the skills shortage we inherited.”

Interestingly, 16 per cent of those over 55 years old supported this idea, showcasing a generational divide in perceptions.

Government incentives for companies that hire and train apprentices and interns garnered support from 11 per cent of respondents, making it the third most favoured option.

Differing views emerged among states. South Australians (21 per cent) stated the importance of fostering partnerships between industries and educational institutions to align training programs with industry needs. 

In contrast, West Australians (15%) leaned toward government-provided incentives, such as tax breaks, as the fastest solution. Victorians (26%) primarily endorsed cheaper or free education.

While Queenslanders (16%) suggested an increase in skilled migrants would be the quickest remedy for the skills shortage.

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