A new financial lifeline is being offered to thousands of Australian students around the country, as free TAFE courses begin rolling out.

Fees will be abolished for anyone studying in areas experiencing major skills shortages, giving a major leg up to the next generation.

Minister for Skills and Training Brendan O’Connor says the move will help many fulfil their life-long dreams.

Fees will be abolished for anyone studying in areas experiencing major skills shortages, giving a major leg up to the next generation. (AAP)

“There’s just such a massive demand for people in your profession,” he said.

“One of the best ways to secure employment is to have skills that employers need, that the economy needs.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for many people who may have been locked out of the labour market.”

The national skills priority list shows the need is greatest in health and aged care, while demand is also high in the IT sector, traditional trades and agriculture.

Students enrolling in any of these courses can apply to have their tuition costs reduced to zero, with priority given to First Nations Australians, young people, those out of work and people with a disability

“Those who might have had fees as an obstacle to study, to get the skills they need for the career they want, this gives them that opportunity,” TAFE Directors Australia’s Jenny Dodd said.

“This isn’t just about getting people in, it’s about helping people succeed.

Some 180,000 free TAFE positions have been divided up between the states, with more places rolling out in the years ahead.

The $1 billion, 12-month program was announced as part of last October’s federal budget.

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