2018-19 Federal Budget Report: Education

The Government is providing additional funding for training and education programs on top of the $24.5 billion Quality Schools package.

What was announced

  • Funding of $1.2 billion dollars over the next four years to assist apprentices and trainees in Australia
  • The Australian Government is providing another $441 million in 2018-19 to increase kids attending their final year of preschool
  • A further $1.9 billion committed over 12 years from 2017-18 to implement the Research Infrastructure Investment Plan
  • $96.1m will be provided to support the education of Australian in regional, rural and remote areas

Managing the Skilling Australians Fund

The Government is providing $1.5 billion of funding through until 30 June 2022, of which $250 million was provided in the 2017-18 year.

The funding is targeted at correcting the downward trend in the number of apprenticeships in Australia and will prioritise apprenticeships and traineeships, in particular the occupations that are in high demand.    

There is an additional $50 million for the 2017-18 year available to states or territories that sign on to participate in the Fund prior to 8 June 2018.

National Partnership Agreement on Universal Access to Early Childhood Education

The Government has extended the National Partnership Agreement which was handed down in the 2017-18 Federal Budget for another two years by providing another $441 million in the 2018-19 year, bringing the spend in the first two years to $870 million.

This program is intended to offer assistance to parents and families by providing support for 15 hours per week, or 600 hours over the year for over 348,000 children in the year before school.

This continued funding is to address raising concerns that only 92.4% of kids are enrolled in preschool programs and only 70% have been attending the full 15 hours.

Boosting innovation with science and research infrastructure

The Government will provide additional funding for the implementation of the National Research Infrastructure and Investment Plan. The additional funds will be directed to funding specific national research projects that will be delivered through the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS).

The Minister for Education and Training has indicated key focus areas to include quantum computing and health and marine science, which may provide opportunities to Australian businesses in these spaces.

The Plan will be reviewed every two years to keep investments in line with research priorities.

The significant investment in this area reflects the Government’s focus on supporting Australia’s research needs now and into the future, and it indicates that the investment will help increase productivity, create jobs, lift economic growth and support a healthy environment for all Australians.

Increased support to access education in rural and regional Australia

The Government has built on last year’s budget to provide $96.1 million over four years to deliver recommendations contained in the Independent Review into Regional, Rural and Remote Education to help provide further education opportunities to Australians living in regional and rural areas. The targeted investment will help overcome the education divide between the capital cities and regional and rural areas.