Report highlights TAFE’s $92-billion economic contribution on National TAFE Day


13 August 2020

National TAFE Day recognises the unique role and ability of Australia’s TAFE sector to provide hope, opportunity and lifelong qualifications and skills for millions of Australians.

This year’s event highlights the vital importance of investing in TAFE for Australia’s economic recovery.

The report, by the Centre for Future Work at the Australia Institute, An Investment in Productivity and Inclusion: The Economic and Social Benefits of the TAFE System, has revealed that despite years of significant funding pressure and policy failure, the TAFE system plays a huge and fundamentally important role in the Australian economy, contributing an estimated $92.5 billion each year.

High-quality vocational education is a key element of helping Australian workers adapt to new opportunities and of powering the Australian economy out of recession and back to prosperity.

According to the report, TAFE:

  • creates $84.9 billion in annual productivity benefits, including $25 billion in taxation revenue which alone is more than four times its annual funding
  • has a $6.1 billion economic footprint, including purchases of goods and services, supply chain inputs and employment supporting 48,000 jobs
  • is responsible for $1.5 billion in reduced social expenses annually, lowering unemployment and supporting a healthier workforce and society
  • has created an increase in employment of around 486,000 positions

Failing to invest in TAFE will destroy one of the primary engines of economic growth, prosperity and equity in the Australian economy.

TAFE provides benefits that are critically important in addressing systemic inequality in Australia’s economy and society for students in rural, regional and remote locations, or from disadvantaged backgrounds.

TAFE is the only institution with the infrastructure, the workforce and the trusted reputation to be able to provide high quality VET qualifications across the country. The Australian community knows, understands and values TAFE for what it is and what it offers.

The AEU welcomes the report’s recommendations, including that there is an urgent need for a comprehensive public-led reconstruction program that invests in the skills and vocational education of workers and young people.

Click here to find out more about National TAFE Day.

Click here to read the AEU’s media release welcoming the report.

Click here to download a copy of the Centre for Future Work’s Report.