A bias towards university education is leaving thousands of young people with unnecessary debt, trades training organisations say.
The government is offering a year's free tertiary education from next year, with plans to gradually extend it to three years.
However, the Industry Training Federation said it feared that could lead to a glut of people heading to university when they might otherwise have done trade training.
Federation chief executive Josh Williams said he supported the policy but worried it could reinforce the bias that already existed in careers advice given to high school students.
Josh Williams speaks to Ali Mau on Drive.
Listen to the full interview above.