Training and Skills Minister visits CQUni Rockhampton City students to highlight Free TAFE

Published:11 April 2019

Minister for Training and Skills Development Shannon Fentiman visited CQUniversity's Rockhampton City Campus on 10 April to highlight how students are already taking advantage of the Queensland Government's Free TAFE program.

Queensland Minister for Training Skills and Development Shannon Fentiman met with some of CQUniversity's apprentices on 10 April to highlight the benefits of the government's Free TAFE program.

A total of 125 students in Rockhampton have already taken advantage of Free TAFE to gain the skills and training they need for a bright future in the growing industries in the region.

Ms Fentiman met diesel fitting apprentices who are well on their way to completing their Cert III in Engineering at CQUni TAFE.

“We want to make sure our young Queenslanders have access to the best training for the jobs of the future,” Ms Fentiman said.

“That’s why we are investing in Queensland apprentices and trainees with initiatives such as free tafe with 160 qualifications on offer for free to all year 12 graduates.

"That includes 24 courses right here in Rockhampton in exciting industries such as engineering, construction, horticulture and hospitality."

CQUniversity Pro Vice-Chancellor for VET Operations and Growth Peter Heilbuth thanked the Minister for her visit and the Government's continued support of Free TAFE.

“We’ve been delighted with the uptake of Free TAFE courses this year. The value of education is that it is the proven pathway to improved job prospects, higher salaries and more interesting jobs. To get this opportunity for free is a fabulous opportunity,” he said.

Member for Rockhampton Barry O’Rourke encouraged recent year 12 graduates in Rockhampton to consider the exciting opportunities vocational education and training can provide.

“The most popular courses at CQU TAFE in Rockhampton are in education, engineering and accounting,” Mr O’Rourke said.

“We want young Queenslanders to be able to get the skills and training they need to build a lifelong career and that’s what vocational education and training (VET) can provide.”

“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to engaging more people with the VET sector in order to develop the skilled workforce our economy needs to keep growing and drive further innovation.”

Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga highlighted the importance of vocational education and training for Queenslanders to find work in existing and emerging industries.

“Here in Central Queensland we know the manufacturing industry is continuing to grow,” Ms Lauga said.

“Vocational education and training is vital to so many jobs and launches people into rewarding careers.

“And more than half of all jobs by 2020 will require a VET qualification.

“That’s why investing in training is so important to ensuring we have the skilled workforce for the jobs of the future.”

Free tafe for year 12 graduates will cover the full cost of training in high priority qualifications and will assist local employers recruit apprentices and trainees.

Eligibility criteria, advice for people interested in taking up a training course and other information on accessing this free training funded by the Queensland Government is available from

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