Australian Greens Senator for NSW and Education Spokesperson, Senator Mehreen Faruqi, has said free higher education is the key to ensuring equitable access to jobs of the future. An Alphabeta ‘Future Skills Report’ has found that Australians will need new skills to adjust to the future of work and will need to spend an additional three hours a week in education and training and that the average Australian worker will likely change jobs 2.4 times over the next two decades. Details of the Greens free higher education package for universities and TAFEs can be found here.
Senator Faruqi said: “Technology is rapidly changing the way we work and learn. Students graduating today will be working in industries we haven’t even imagined yet. If we are to take advantage of automation and technological change, we need to ensure that people are able to retrain and re-skill without incurring crushing debts over and over again.
“Automation offers incredible opportunities but if we do not properly plan for it, we are open to the risk of leaving huge numbers of people behind. We know that learning, upskilling and reskilling are essential for workers to be able to thrive in the jobs of the future, particularly those whose industries will be disrupted by technology.
“Removing fees for higher education will mean people will be able to move seamlessly between jobs and careers without the threat of huge debts. It’s time to make education free again,” she concluded.