Labor has accused the Liberals of not doing enough to build the state's skilled workforce through TAFE, saying construction companies are struggling to obtain workers and apprentices for development projects.
But the government says Tasmania continues to perform better than the Australian average across most key indicators for apprentices and trainees with commencements increasing by 9.7 per cent in the 12 months to June.
Labor leader Rebecca White said Labor's free TAFE policy for industries facing skills shortages would address issues in attracting workers and apprentices to construction sites and provide opportunities for Tasmanians young and old.
"We want Tasmanians to get the first chance to get a job, rather than what we see in some work sites where they have had to fly in workers from interstate, or in other cases, where jobs have been delayed because they just can't find the skilled workers they need," she said.
"Something is very wrong when we have an underemployment crisis in this state at the same time employers are desperate to attract skilled workers.
"There is certainly a big mismatch in what training is provided [at TAFE] and what industry needs."
Mark Cusick, from Pontville Homes, said there was an ongoing struggle to find skilled workers to complete projects on deadline.
He said the company he works for, and others, could easily take on more apprentices.
"There's a ridiculous amount of work on in Tasmania at the moment," Mr Cusick said.
Education Minister Jeremy Rockliff said TasTAFE has experienced an increase of more than 500 apprentice enrolments over the past year.
"Our incentives to take on a new apprentice are also focused on the building and construction industry; they include $5000 grants for small businesses to re-invest in new workers.
"TasTAFE is one of the most affordable TAFE's in the country.
"Most students have 95 per cent of their course costs paid by the government and 47 per cent of students pay no more than $350 per year."