2022-23 March Budget

The 2022-23 Budget invests in measures that support Australian families, strengthens student educational outcomes, and will help secure Australia’s ongoing economic recovery through skills and employment.

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The 2022-23 Budget provides record funding for child care, schools and universities and delivers on initiatives that promote excellence, access and equity in education. 

Workforce, employment and skills measures are framed by a new National Workforce Strategy which is supported by strong investment in apprenticeships, skills and training to build and secure the future workforce.

Early Childhood and Child Care

The Australian Government will provide $19.4 million to fund up to 20 new services in disadvantaged regional and remote areas where there is a lack of suitable child care.

The funding will be provided under the Community Child Care Fund Open Competitive grant.

It will help establish new services in areas of high need. This will support greater workforce participation and better outcomes for children. 

The funding round will open later in 2022. Information about the application process will be available on GrantConnect later this year.

Schools and Youth

Australian schools continue to receive record funding, with $25.3 billion in 2022, and $318.9 billion over the period 2018 to 2029.

The Budget provides:

  • An additional $62.4 million for projects that enable better student educational outcomes through the National School Reform Fund and the Non-Government Reform Support Fund.  
  • Funding for the Emerging Priorities Program will be increased to support projects that school communities  to respond to emerging priorities in school education, including COVID-19 recovery. 

Initiatives benefiting regional, rural and remote students include:

  • $17.3 million to extend a grants program to assist boarding providers to better support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander boarding students and improve their educational outcomes, and
  • a new $10.9 million Commonwealth Regional Scholarship Program will assist up to 200 families from low-socioeconomic status (SES) communities with the cost of boarding school fees.

Respectful relationships, student wellbeing and mental health initiatives include:

  • $6 million to support the continued delivery of respectful relationship education materials for primary and secondary school students nationally
  • $6.1 million to support the development of new online safety educational materials for younger students in Years 1-4 by Life Education Australia
  • $5 million for the Australian Human Rights Commission to undertake a survey of secondary school-age students on issues related to consent education at school
  • $9.7 million for new projects to help teachers and school leaders better identify, understand and respond to the mental health and wellbeing needs of students, and
  • $7.2 million in measures that support teachers to foster inclusive, engaged and respectful school classroom environments.

Higher Education, Research and International

There is a record level of annual funding for higher education, $20 billion in 2022-23, which will continue to grow over the forward estimates.

The Australian Government is continuing to invest in research commercialisation through:

  • a new $37.4 million research translation program to be delivered through the CSIRO, and
  • a commitment to supercharging university innovation and industry collaboration, with more than $1.2 billion to be invested in research commercialisation opportunities over the next 5 years.

Skills and Training

Building on record funding of $7.8 billion in 2021-22, the Australian Government continues its strong investment in apprenticeships, skills and training.

  • Up to $12 billion over 5 years will be committed in support of the National Skills Agreement (NSA) with states and territories. Under this measure, the Australian Government has provisioned an additional $3.7 billion as part of the 2022-23 Budget, on top of the $8.3 billion National Skills and Workforce Development Specific Purpose Payment. The NSA, once agreed, will transform the way all governments support vocational education and training, ensuring greater national consistency, and that investment decisions are transparent, evidence-based and linked to skills need. The NSA has the potential to deliver around 800,000 additional training places over 5 years.
  • $365.3 million to extend the Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements (BAC) wage subsidy for three months to 30 June 2022 and the Completing Apprenticeship Commencements (CAC) wage subsidy to 30 June 2027. Extending these wage subsidies takes the Government’s investment in Australian Apprenticeships under BAC and CAC to $5.8 billion and leverages the momentum over the past 18 months that saw the number of trade apprentices in-training increase to their highest levels yet.
  • Building on the success of the BAC wage subsidy, $2.4 billion is going towards the new Australian Apprenticeships Incentive System (AAIS), which will commence on 1 July 2022. The new AAIS is designed to increase commencements and completions in occupations on the Australian Apprenticeship Priority List (priority occupations) and support employers around Australia to fill skills shortages. This replaces the Australian Apprenticeships Incentives Program (AAIP), which is closing to new entrants on 30 June 2022.
  • The Australian Government will expand support for eligible employers and Australian Apprentices in regional and remote Australia to support greater apprenticeship completions. The measure, which will cost $144.1 million, is part of the $2 billion Regional Accelerator Program, which is topping up existing Commonwealth programs to grow regional economies.
  • $38.6 million is going towards encouraging women to take up an apprenticeship in a non-traditional trade occupation. This includes priority occupations that have had a historically low take-up by women, such as carpenters, bricklayers and electricians. 
  • $2.8 million will help support an additional 2,500 Australians aged between 15 and 20 while they are completing their apprenticeship. In-Training Support (ITS) includes pastoral care, mentoring, counselling, career guidance and referrals to other specialist services. This builds on the 30,000 ITS places already accessed by young Australians through Australian Apprenticeship Support Network providers.
  • The JobTrainer Fund will be expanded, with the Government investing a further $48.5 million over 2 years, contingent on matched funding from states. This will make available an additional 15,000 free or low-fee places through the JobTrainer Aged Care Boost to support Australia’s aged care workforce through to 31 December 2023.
  • $3.9 million will be provided to support women considering a transition into the tech workforce. This will include access to resources, online training, coaching and mentoring to support women to pursue a mid-career transition into the tech workforce.
  • $1.5 million to extend a trial offering career advice to job seekers aged 25 and over. Run by the National Careers Institute, the trial is being extended by a further 6 months to 31 December 2022. This will facilitate up to 1,820 additional career guidance sessions by qualified career practitioners.
  • $28.5 million over 5 years from 2021-22 to support vocational education and training (VET). This includes:
    • $17.5 million over 5 years is being provided to the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) to undertake training package assurance for the national VET system.
    • $11 million in 2022–23 for critical maintenance of the VET Student Loans (VSL) IT system to ensure the system can continue to support the delivery of the VSL program.

Employment and Workforce

As the economy continues to strengthen, the Australian Government will address immediate and longer-term workforce challenges that continue to persist.

  • The Government has developed a new National Workforce Strategy that will sit at the centre of a new workforce policy environment. The strategy will guide the national effort to build the workforce and ensure that a more coordinated and joined up approach to addressing workforce issues is sustained. In recognition of the workforce challenges being faced by the care and support sector, the Australian Government has also developed a new Care and Support Workforce Strategy, which provides a holistic and coordinated approach to workforce investment and further realises opportunities to enable, grow and sustain this critical workforce.

The Government will continue to invest in employment programs that will provide support to job seekers, including young people and Indigenous Australians, to improve their chances of securing a job.

  • An additional $42.1 million to introduce further support for our most vulnerable youth to engage in education and employment. ReBoot commits to working with not-for-profit organisations to build resilience and to encourage and inspire up to 5,000 young people facing disadvantage to reboot their path to a job.
  • Expanded eligibility for Local Recovery Fund activities under the Local Jobs Program to job seekers self-managing through the Government’s Workforce Australia digital employment services. This change supports more job seekers to connect with employment opportunities and helps meet local employers’ workforce needs.
  • AgMove program until the end of 2022.
  • An additional $3.2 million to extend the Time to Work Employment Service by another year. The voluntary service helps Indigenous prisoners prepare for employment on release.

Portfolio Budget Statements 2022-23