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A $2.1 billion overhaul of the technical college system is John Howard’s newest pledge to the nation, meeting Labor’s campaign, which has run on education policy all year, in the lead up to the election.

The money is to go to 100 new technical college to be built over the next 10 years, 30 to be funded by the Commonwealth and the other 70 for other governments or independent systems to establish. "We will provide direct funding of $10 million to each of those schools established by either a government or independent school," announced Howard.

Infrastructure for technical education is badly needed for several industries where skill shortages are rife, particular in trades. The policy comes off the back of Howard’s promise to drive unemployment down to 3 percent.

Labor responded by stating that the money would be better spent reviving existing colleges under the TAFE system, which have suffered several budget cuts over the past few years. Labor’s policy, released in May, pledged $2.5 billion on trade training facilities in 2650 existing schools.

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