Release type: Media Release

Date:

An Education Revolution to secure our economic future

The Rudd Government is delivering an Education Revolution that will build productive capacity in our economy and deliver a modern and prosperous Australia.

The 2008-09 Budget is meeting our election commitments and investing in education at all levels.

Education and participation are central to lifting productivity. While our physical resources are limited, human capital is not.

This Budget is the first instalment of the Rudd Government’s ongoing commitment to an Education Revolution that aims to make Australia one of the most educated and most highly skilled workforces in the world.

This $19.3 billion investment delivers on the Rudd Government’s commitments from early childhood to schools, from vocational education and training to higher education.

Early Childhood

This Budget commits $2.4 billion over the next five years on early childhood education and care initiatives to ensure our youngest Australians have the best possible start in life.

Schools

We are meeting our commitments on schools and providing support for technology, infrastructure, curriculum and resourcing through a $3.0 billion down payment on building a world class school education system.

Young Australians

This Budget provides $8.0 million to support young Australians so that they can better contribute to Government policy development and decision making.

Training and Skills

We have committed $2.0 billion over five years to skill Australians for the jobs of tomorrow and close existing skills gaps.

Higher Education

This Budget provides a further $1.8 billion to strengthen Australian universities and other higher education institutions.

Education Investment Fund

A new $11 billion Education Investment Fund to support capital expenditure and renewal and refurbishment in universities and vocational institutions as well as in research facilities and major research institutions. This fund will include $5 billion from the 2007-08 and 2008-09 Budgets and $6 billion from the Higher Education Endowment Fund (HEEF).

Indigenous

In line with undertakings made by the Prime Minister during his historic Apology to the Stolen Generations, this Budget outlines $213.0 million to close the gap in educational outcomes and opportunities between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

Employment

This Budget commits $3.7 billion over three years to implement a new integrated Employment Services system to provide greater flexibility for providers to tailor services for individual job seekers.

Social Inclusion for all Australians

Through the measures in this Budget, the Rudd Government is fulfilling its election commitment to combat social and economic disadvantage by recognising the strong links between education, workforce participation, and economic and social outcomes. The Budget initiatives, some of which are already well under way, will lead to a fairer, more productive, creative and prosperous Australia.