Back to School

Victoria is in a youth unemployment crisis. In some areas of our state, one in five young people can’t get a job. A generation of Victorians are at risk of falling out of our economy.

That’s why Labor released a plan to help create 100,000 new jobs, by encouraging businesses to hire unemployed youth and investing in the high-growth industries of the future.

But as a state, we must do more. Jobs start with skills and skills start at school.

The best jobs with the best wages will mean nothing if our kids can’t get a good education.

Under the Liberals, our schools are falling apart and our kids are falling behind. Families are struggling too. They’re not getting the support they need for their kids’ future.

When the Liberals cut TAFE and abolished training pathways, it sent a signal to every kid who dreamt of a hands-on profession: don’t bother.

And when the Liberals cut the Education Maintenance Allowance – which helped parents manage the costs of schooling – it sent a message to every family: you’re on your own.

Students deserve better. They deserve a Government that will help them get through the most important years of their life so they can enter the workforce with confidence.

That’s why an Andrews Labor Government will give our kids the basics they need for their school, the skills they need for their career and the support they need for their life.

It’s the smart thing to do. By building better schools, we’ll build a bigger economy.

By saving TAFE and arming our next generation with a new set of skills, we’ll create more jobs.

And by helping schools and families meet the costs of education, we’ll give our next generation the opportunity to which they’re entitled – the chance they deserve.

Back To School: Skills for our future. Support for our kids.


  • $50 million to upgrade and build kinders across our state.
  • $510 million in our government schools for new and upgraded buildings.
  • $120 million to build and upgrade Catholic and Independent schools across the state. Labor will also provide long-term funding certainty for non-government schools.
  • $13.5 million into Foodbank, so they can establish breakfast clubs at 500 government primary schools and serve 25,000 children across the state.
  • $15.5 million to help struggling families buy school uniforms.
  • $500,000 for eye testing and glasses in 250 of the most disadvantaged schools across Victoria.
  • $150 million Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund, to cover the increasing cost of the trips and free up the family budget.


  • Establish 10 new Tech Schools across the state for students in Years 7 to 12. They will be focused on local industries and be run by local schools, TAFEs, universities and industries. Tech School students will spend a set period of time each week getting their enhanced technical education while also maintaining their enrolment at their local secondary school.
  • $320 million TAFE Rescue Fund for campuses across our state, to repair the damage and get them back in the black. The TAFE Rescue Fund will begin on day one of a Labor Government. It will re-open closed campuses, bailout stricken institutes and upgrade TAFE buildings, workshops, labs and classrooms.
  • Conduct a VET Funding Review to develop stable funding methods to improve Victoria’s training system, in consultation with public and private providers. The review will be headed by Bruce Mackenzie, founding CEO of Holmesglen TAFE, a widely respected figure in the sector.
  • Crackdown on dodgy training providers who misuse public funds to grant meaningless certificates. We’ll make sure all students get proper qualifications.

Download the full policy document: Back to School