NSW Assistant Skills Minister Adam Marshall pledged to outdo Labor's 'Free TAFE' policy by more than 100,000 vocational course places during a visit to Wagga on Thursday.
"Over the next four years the NSW Government will offer 700,000 fee-free places right across NSW at campuses like the two campuses here at Wagga," Mr Marshall said.
"We know in places like Wagga that TAFE is vital, with a booming construction industry, with growing demands in aged care and early childhood education."
Mr Marshall conceded that there would be no set allocation for free courses at TAFE NSW Wagga and other campuses in the Riverina.
"We'll offer the 700,000 free courses over four years; if that means all 700,000 hypothetically were delivered at Wagga, that would be fantastic," he said.
"Students can enroll; if they're entitled to a free course they will have a free course.
"How many that will be delivered at Wagga depend on how many will actually turn up to their local course and say 'sign me up, I"m ready to go'."
Mr Marshall toured the TAFE NSW campus on Wagga's Macleay Street, meeting with staff and students in beauty therapy and automotive courses.
When questioned over the government's record on TAFE staff numbers, Mr Marshall said that Wagga would receive seven new teachers under a statewide recruitment drive.
Wagga Labor Candidate Dan Hayes this month accused the Coalition of overseeing significant declines in TAFE teachers and support staff, enrollments and apprentice numbers since 2011.
Mr Hayes said Labor's pledge for "600,000 certificate level places in skill shortage courses over the next decade" would "change lives".
“Free TAFE is the ultimate jobs plan. It will deliver the skilled workforce of the future and revitalise the vocational education system after eight years of neglect by the Liberals and Nationals,” he said.