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Connected skills system

Skilled. Thriving. Connected. will develop a connected skills system

Training providers work closely with other stakeholders and service providers including schools, higher education providers, employers, industry, unions, and governments to deliver a connected skills system.

A connected skills system works with learners at all stages including those in school who are seeking a head start to their career, learners embarking on pre-vocational training, entry level qualifications and those looking to reskill or expand on their initial qualification.

Our focus is to see learners access quality training providers, improve training delivery through flexible and responsive models that meet skills needs.

To ensure training providers can develop skilled and adaptive people ready for the jobs of today and tomorrow, training products must be innovative and transformative, with tailored approaches to respond to local and emerging skills needs.

Connected skills system - Areas of reform

TAFE SA early childhood 1

Fee-free TAFE and Vocational Education


An initiative of the Commonwealth and state and territory governments, Fee-Free TAFE and vocational education is removing the fees for learners undertaking much-needed skills training and is helping to address skills shortages in key industry sectors.

Sok Tsoutouras is a learner benefiting from the chance to develop new skills and prepare for a career change without putting additional strain on the household budget. A mother of two, Sok, 38, is pursuing her passion for cooking through a Certificate IV in Kitchen Management at TAFE SA’s Regency Campus.

Sok worked as a dental nurse prior to having her children, now aged 7 and 9, and says the training at TAFE SA is giving her new skills to re-enter the workforce.

“A lot of people are surprised by my age and ask me why I’m studying later in life and I say ‘Why not? Fee-Free TAFE has given me a great opportunity’,” she says.

The response from the community to Fee-Free TAFE across the state has exceeded expectations and enabled many new students to gain qualifications that they would otherwise have been unable to attempt.

Sok is looking forward to completing her qualification in 2024 and gaining some industry experience before considering a small business venture of her own.

Strengthening TAFE SA and the training sector

Flexible and responsive training

We will ensure flexible training products and delivery approaches are strengthened, noting they play a strong role in ensuring equity of access to opportunity for learners with barriers including for those in regional and remote areas.

The South Australian Skills Commission plays a key role in this regard: promoting equity, participation in and access to the VET system. As the public provider, TAFE SA also has a role in working with industry and community to develop flexible training products and delivery approaches to meet local need.

Enhanced collaboration and connectivity between learners, industry and training providers are key to developing successful training solutions.

BAE STEM Returners

Higher education apprenticeships


Apprenticeships and traineeships have traditionally been associated with vocational education and training rather than occupational pathways and courses undertaken at universities / higher education institutions. Competition for talent, globally, has never been stronger and Higher Education Apprenticeships and Traineeships will help businesses develop the skills they need to thrive.

The South Australian Skills Commission has declared Australia’s first degree apprenticeship in Software Engineering. The Software Engineering apprenticeship will see students study a Bachelor of Software Engineering (Honours) under apprenticeship conditions, combining university level theoretical studies with supervised on-job training, allowing them to earn while they learn. These apprentices will develop practical and technical skills that are critical to South Australia’s skills needs.

The design of the apprenticeship was undertaken by UniSA and Ai Group, and supported by BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin Australia Pty Ltd, DXC Technology, ASC Pty Ltd (WA division), and the Defence Teaming Centre.

The state government has committed $450,000 over three years to support the establishment of this higher apprenticeship, with the program to be delivered via a partnership between the University of South Australia, defence industry employers and peak national employer group, Australian Industry (Ai) Group.

This new higher education apprenticeship will help to address the short supply of software engineers in Australia and feed the growing defence sector workforce, ahead of the construction of nuclear-powered AUKUS submarines, while supporting other high-tech industries such as advanced manufacturing