According to the Education Act 1885, regulations were made in June 1887 to, amongst other things, make provision for technical education in Tasmania. A Technical Branch answerable to the Minister and a Committee to provide advice were established under these regulations. Eight courses of instruction were established and other provisions included a scale of fees for students and school inspectors.
Twenty-six students comprised the first intake of students in Hobart in February 1888. A Board was established at this time for a Launceston school, however, it did not begin operation until 1895.
The Hobart school subsequently became known as the Hobart Technical College and operated as such until 1993 when it became the Hobart Institute of TAFE the following year. This coincided with the forming of the new Department of Industrial Relations, Vocational Education and Training.