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Federal Budget 2024-25: Key Measures in Our Sectors

May 16, 2024

Service and Creative Skills Australia (SaCSA) notes the key measures in the Australian Government 2024-25 Budget, including for supporting small businesses, upskilling the workforce, and fostering economic growth across sectors.

We welcome efforts to enhance the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector, address national skills gaps, and prepare the workforce to meet Australia’s current and future needs.

As the Jobs and Skills Council (JSC) representing Arts, Personal Services, Retail, Tourism and Hospitality industry sectors, we were particularly interested in the following Budget workforce-related initiatives.

Key Cross-cutting Measures

The Budget allocates around $600 million to bolster skills development across sectors such as clean energy, construction, and manufacturing. This investment aims to:

  • Support Apprenticeships: Financial incentives for apprentices and employers.
  • Break Down Barriers for Women: Programs to promote gender equality in traditionally male-dominated industries.
  • Remove Cost Barriers to Education: Ensuring accessible training in key areas needed by the economy.

Enhancing the Apprenticeships System

The Government is investing $265.1 million over four years to support the Australian Apprenticeships Incentive System. Key changes include:

  • Additional Support for Apprentices: Extra $2,000 for apprentices in priority areas.
  • Increased Subsidies for Employers: Additional $1,000 to help offset training costs for employing apprentices.

Supporting Women in the Workforce

The Budget introduces several initiatives to promote gender equality and support women in their careers. A large proportion of the Personal Services sector and the creative industries SaCSA represents are overwhelmingly made up of women. We support the initiatives taken to create more equal opportunities and support for women including:

  • Building Women’s Careers Program: $55.6 million over four years to support women in flexible, safe, and inclusive work and training environments.
  • Support for Domestic Violence: $925.2 million over 5 years to provide support for victim-survivors leaving a violent intimate partner relationship
  • Apprenticeships Incentive System: Continued support and specific targets for women in priority occupations.
  • Supporting women’s health: $56.1 million to support women’s sexual and reproductive health initiatives.

Further support for the Vocational Education and Training System

The Government will provide $26.1 million over four years from 2024–25 for the Skills and Training portfolio to contribute to a strong and effective Vocational Education and Training system, continue structural reforms, and maximise returns on previous skills and training investments and commitments. This includes:

  • $10.6 million over four years from 2024–25 (and $1.0 million per year ongoing) for the implementation of a reporting solution for the Australian Skills Guarantee
  • $9.5 million in 2024–25 in additional funding for Jobs and Skills Australia’s continued provision of advice on Australia’s labour market, skills and training needs
  • $6.1 million in 2024–25 in additional funding for the National Careers Institute to continue its role in supporting Australians to access targeted careers information
  • $2.9 million in 2024–25 in reprofiled funding for continued implementation work with the states and territories on the 5-year National Skills Agreement that commenced on 1 January 2024.

The Government will also provide $4.4 million in 2024–25 to drive demand for VET in support of delivering the workforce required to meet Australia’s future skills needs.

  • This will include delivering strategic communications to increase the appeal of VET for students, parents and teachers, and extending community awareness of Fee-Free TAFE courses in areas of high skills needs which has ensured strong uptake of Fee-Free TAFE places to date.

Responding to the Universities Accord

The Government will provide $1.1 billion over five years from 2023–24 (and an additional

$2.7 billion from 2028–29 to 2034–35) for the first stage of reforms to Australia’s tertiary

education system in response to the Australian Universities Accord Final Report.

  • These reforms will boost equity and access to higher education, progress tertiary harmonisation and will support a target of 80 per cent of the working age population holding a tertiary qualification by 2050.
  • This includes $27.7 million over four years from 2024–25 (and an additional $32.8 million from 2028–29 to 2034–35) to develop initiatives that break down artificial barriers and harmonise regulatory, governance and qualification arrangements between the higher education and vocational education and training sectors.

Other initiatives

Small business and employers can expect to benefit from the broader initiatives including:

  • Administrative Burden Reduction: Abolition of 457 nuisance tariffs and additional support for administering the Paid Parental Leave scheme.
  • Mental Health and Financial Wellbeing: $10.8 million for tailored, free, and confidential support services for small business owners.
  • Cyber Security: $23.4 million for the Cyber Wardens Program to provide free, online training for small business owners and their staff to help drive cultural change and a cyber safe mindset in Australian small businesses.
  • Digitalisation: $18.6 million for the Digital Solutions Program, which works with small businesses to make the most of digital tools and offers broader advice.

Sector-specific Measures

Below are some of the measures relating to the sectors we represent:


Significant Boost for Leading Performing Arts Schools

The Government will provide $216.6 million over four years from 2024–25 (and $59.9 million per year ongoing) to further support Australia’s arts, entertainment and cultural sector under the National Cultural Policy – Revive. As the JSC for the Arts sector, we welcome this outcome. Highlights include:

  • $115.2 million to Australia’s eight national arts training organisations to ensure their continued operation in fostering the next generation of creative talent across screen, music, performing arts and dance. This relates to the Arts8 collective, including institutions like NIDA, AFTRS, and the Australian Ballet School.
  • $117.2 million over four years (and $36.9 million per year ongoing) to support the operations and long-term financial sustainability of the national performing arts training organisations and Australian Film Television and Radio School.
  • $53.8 million over four years from 2024–25 (and $17.8 million per year ongoing) to establish two new First Nations language centres, increase funding for existing language centres and for community language learning to increase the number of First Nations language speakers.
  • $14.5 million for Australian children’s screen content.
  • $9.3 million for the National Film and Sound Archive.
  • $8.6 million for the Revive Live program, supporting live music venues and festivals that showcase Australian bands and artists.
  • $7.9 million over four years for initiatives to support people with disability to access and participate in the creative arts, including $5.0 million already provided for by the Government in last year’s Budget measure titled Revive –National Cultural Policy and Location Incentive.
  • $5.2 million for the Canberra and Darwin Symphony Orchestras.


  • $5.0 million for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority to engage tourism operators to conduct reef monitoring, protection and other stewardship activities to protect the Great Barrier Reef.
  • The Government will also provide $69.7 million over four years from 2024–25 (and $3.6 million per year ongoing) to support Australian businesses and to boost Australia’s trade, tourism, and investment opportunities.


  • $3.0 million over four years from 2024–25 to deliver on the Government’s commitment for mandatory country of origin labelling for seafood in hospitality settings in collaboration with the states and territories.


For more detailed information on the 2024-25 Budget, please visit the official website: https://budget.gov.au/.

For information specific to initiatives across skills and training, employment and workforce and workplace relations, please see here.


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