on air now

Deputy Premier encourages students to ignore their parents and follow their gut

Former chippy, now NSW Skills Minister and Deputy Premier John Barilaro, is telling students to ignore their parents and follow their gut when it comes to education.

Today, Mr Barilaro announced 2656 students have seized the opportunity to take up a trade in the two months since the NSW Government made apprenticeships free.

The Deputy Premier says the fee-free program is shining a spotlight on vocational training and “de-bunking the myth that if you go to uni your earning capacity is better”.

Despite the positive move to get more apprentices on the job, Ben Fordham says it’s not all roses for TAFE.

“Enrolments in higher level TAFE qualifications are at crisis levels.

“The number of people signing up for TAFE’s twenty most popular courses has halved in the past two years and some campuses look like ghost towns”.

Mr Barilaro agrees that TAFE is now competing with universities saying “it is part of the change we saw federally with the policy around allowing universities to play in the higher diploma area.

“Now what we’re seeing is the university sector attracting more of these students to university… where they could have gone on to TAFE and trained and learned at a lower cost.

“We all know the vocational training pathway actually leads to a job outcome.”

Click PLAY below to hear the full interview