DECLINE IN APPRENTICE NUMBERS HIGHLIGHTS TURNBULL GOVERNMENT FAILURES

11 Dec 2017

Latest figures from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) show a further decline in apprentice and trainee numbers, once again highlighting the failure of the Turnbull government to take vocational education seriously.

SENATOR THE HON DOUG CAMERON

SHADOW MINISTER FOR HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS

SHADOW MINISTER FOR SKILLS, TAFE AND APPRENTICESHIPS

SENATOR FOR NEW SOUTH WALES

DECLINE IN APPRENTICE NUMBERS HIGHLIGHTS TURNBULL GOVERNMENT FAILURES

Latest figures from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) show a further decline in apprentice and trainee numbers, once again highlighting the failure of the Turnbull government to take vocational education seriously.

Apprentices and trainees in training were down by a further 4.7 percent in the period from June 2016 to June 2017.

Worryingly, the decline is most dramatic among trade apprentices. Their numbers are down 6.3 percent since June last year.

Overall the amount of government support for apprentices, TAFE and VET has been cut by $3 billion under the Liberals and Nationals.

Since 2013 there has been 20 per cent drop in the number of government-funded hours of vocational education and training.

The government has abolished the Industry Skills Fund and has dismantled the cooperative approach to skills involving unions, employers and government.

The Skilling Australia Fund announced in May is still yet to be created and independent analysis shows that it is structurally flawed and won’t deliver anything like the number of apprenticeships the government claims.

In contrast, Labor’s plan for jobs and skills development will see increased investment in TAFE and increased quality traineeships and apprenticeships.

Labor will restore the $637 million cut by the Turnbull government from VET funding in the 2017 Budget.

Labor will make TAFE the centrepiece of our training system by guaranteeing at least two-thirds of all government VET funding goes to TAFE and by investing $100 million in revitalising campuses across the country.

Labor will ensure that one in ten jobs on all Commonwealth priority projects are apprentices, and Labor will expand pre-apprentice programs for young jobseekers and invest in Advanced Adult Apprenticeships for workers in transition.

It’s time for a government that invests in skills, TAFE and apprenticeships.

FRIDAY, 8 DECEMBER 2017