investing in our peopleThis is a Budget to skill up the NSW workforce of today and tomorrow. The NSW Government is committed to supporting people on every step of the career ladder, from school leavers to working parents and job seekers who are looking to retrain or upskill.


The NSW Government will invest $318.6 million over two years in the Skilling for Recovery training package — to help job seekers retrain or upskill, and support school leavers entering the workforce for the first time. 

This training program will deliver on the NSW Government’s commitment, under the Commonwealth JobTrainer Fund, to offer more than 100,000 low cost or fee-free training places to individuals in NSW, with a focus on school leavers disadvantaged by the pandemic. 


Through the Skilling for Recovery program, the NSW Government will significantly increase the apprenticeship intake across Transport for NSW. It will also provide $80 million in support for apprenticeships and cadetships in the community housing and construction sectors and a further 300 traineeships will be created across NSW public sector agencies.


Finding smarter ways to train the NSW workforce is critical to lifting the State’s productivity. The NSW Government will invests $57.4 million over four years to create a landmark Trades Skills Pathways Centre to address skills shortages in the NSW economy and support employment for women. 

It will also develop new pathways to trades qualifications, deliver more flexible training and make trades a better option for women. The Centre will adopt recommendations from the Productivity Green Paper to find better, smarter pathways to skilled trades that match our modern economy.


To help women return to the workforce, the NSW Government is introducing grants of up to $5,000 for training and support.


The care economy comprises early childhood, community services, social housing, aged care, disability care and personal support. This sector has a large proportion of casual, female workers who have been particularly hard hit by recession. 

To assist in revitalising this sector, the NSW Government will provide:  

  • $17 million for upskilling, mentoring and job matching for people working in the care economy to improve recruitment and retention of care workers and meet the long-term needs of the State’s older citizens, those with a disability and others requiring care.
  • Up to 20,000 training places to skill people working in aged care to support the growing needs of the sector and $2.5 million to develop a strategic business case for a TAFE aged care centre of excellence training facility.


Success in education is about more than just how much money is spent. In addition to additional resourcing, the NSW Government will drive quality outcomes for all students. Measures include:

  • An investment of $337 million over the 2021 school year to deliver intensive tutoring for up to 290,000 students in NSW schools — supporting students to recover lost learning time as a result of the COVID-19 shutdowns in early 2020.
  • $120 million to extend the existing free preschool program to the end of 2021. This funding will support around 44,000 three to five-year-olds attending community preschool in over 700 community and mobile preschools across the State.