Opportunities for Young Australians


The Federal Government is investing an extra $37.6 billion in schools over the next decade (to 2029).

Funding per student, on average, is increasing by around 62% over a decade.

Australians can see what long-term funding is being provided to their local school here: www.education.gov.au/school-funding-estimator

We have replaced multiple secret funding deals with a single, needs-based national model of schools funding.

Every student across Australia will now receive funding based on need. Our agreement is fair to all students and provides certainty over the next decade.


It is critical we improve standards in our schools. The Government has accepted in principle the recommendations of David Gonski’s report outlining how to improve student outcomes.

We will work with the states to reform the curriculum, provide online learning tools for teachers, and better support teachers and parents to support students.

For the first time, a national blueprint will be available for every government, teacher and family to tackle declining school performance. This will help record funding lead to better outcomes.  


We are supporting the choice of parents who send children to non-government schools.

A fairer measure will now be applied to determine the capacity of parents to pay.

Previously, this was calculated by the socio-economic status of the area.

Better data is now available and a direct income measure will be used to identify the median income of parents.

As a result of this review, an extra $4.5 billion of funding will be available to non-government schools over the next decade.

This extra funding is not at the expense of government schools. From 2017 to 2029:

  • Government Schools funding will increase by 76% per student, on average.
  • Non-Government schools funding will increase by 57% per student, on average. 

Secure, long-term funding is being provided for all students, based on need.


The Federal Government does not directly fund TAFE. The Federal Government provides money to the States for apprenticeships.

The Government’s new $1.5 billion Skilling Australians Fund will create 300,000 more apprenticeships over the next 4 years.

When Bill Shorten was the minister for employment, there was a decline of 110,000 apprentices (or 22%) in just one year (2012-13).

The previous Labor government cut employer incentives for apprenticeships by $1.2 billion.

As Workplace Relations Minister, Shorten also increased the number of foreign workers on 457 visas – from 68,000 (Dec 2011) to 110,000 (Sept 2013).

By contrast, we are putting young Australians first. We’ve replaced 457 visas with a new Temporary Skills Shortage Visa.

Employers that sponsor migrants under this new visa are required to pay a levy, which helps fund the Skilling Australia Fund.

We have axed Labor’s failed VET FEE-HELP scheme and replaced it with VET Student Loans. These loans contain greater protections for students and taxpayers and ensure loans go towards courses with strong job outcomes.

We have cracked down on dodgy operators, including by establishing a National Training Complaints Hotline for students and strengthening the powers of the regulator.


The Liberal and Nationals Government has created a program called Youth Jobs PaTH (Prepare-Trial-Hire). This helps disadvantaged 17-24 year old job seekers go from welfare to work.

Many employers may be hesitant to take a chance on young jobseekers that aren’t quite job ready. To address this, we are sponsoring up to 120,000 young people over three years, through a three-stage process.

  1. “Prepare”: pre-employment training, focusing on skills like working in a team, presentation and IT.
  2. “Trial”: internship placements for four to twelve weeks, during which employers get $1,000 and young people get $200 a fortnight, on top of their benefits.
  3. “Hire”: wage subsidies of between $6,500 and $10,000 for employers who hire a young job seeker.

This program is about getting young people ready, giving them a go and getting them a job.

More than 50,000 young people have already participated in at least one element of Youth Jobs PaTH. 34,000 (nearly 65%) of these have gotten a job.


Funding for universities is at record levels – over $17 billion a year. It is set to grow by almost $2 billion between 2017 and 2021.

Universities will continue to receive indexed student contribution funding for all students.

Taxpayers expect universities to focus on support for students, ahead of administration (including $1.7 billion being spent on marketing in the last seven years).

Further, there are some universities where up to one quarter of first-year students drop out, or less than half the students graduate after six years.

From 2020 onwards, a portion of each university’s funding will be based on criteria being met, to ensure funding supports good outcomes for students. We are consulting with the sector on the design of this.

Australia has one of the most generous student loan schemes in the world – the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP). This ensures domestic students don’t pay up-front fees.

Students don't have to pay their loans back until they’re earning a good income.

From 1 July 2019, the minimum repayment threshold will be $45,881 with 1% repayment. This means a student earning this amount would pay back less than $9 per week.

The Government is funding the Australian Research Council to provide $3 billion in grants for university research projects over the next four years.

To improve the public’s confidence in taxpayer-funded university research, we are including a national interest test.

Recently, the Education Minister disallowed eleven research grants for topics including: “Beauty and Ugliness as Persuasive Tools in Changing China’s Gender Norms”; “Post-Orientalist Arts of the Strait of Gibraltar”; “Soviet Cinema in Hollywood Before the Blacklist (1917-1950)”; “Greening Media Sport”; “Rioting and the Literary Archive”; and “Writing the Struggle for Sioux Modernity”.