LABOR PLAN TO BOOST TAFE AND APPRENTICESHIPS IN NORTHERN NSW

21 Nov 2018

Young workers in Northern NSW will have new opportunities to build a career through Labor’s policy to revitalise TAFE and ensure that one in 10 jobs on federally-funded major infrastructure projects is filled by an Australian apprentice.

Young workers in Northern NSW will have new opportunities to build a career through Labor’s policy to revitalise TAFE and ensure that one in 10 jobs on federally-funded major infrastructure projects is filled by an Australian apprentice.

Labor’s apprenticeship policy will apply to major infrastructure projects such as the upgrade of the Pacific Highway and the roll-out of the NBN.

In the federal seat of Page, there are 1,109 fewer apprenticeships since the Nationals came to office.

Speaking in Lismore today, Shadow Minister for Skills, TAFE and Apprentices, Senator Doug Cameron, said Northern NSW was suffering from this huge decline in apprenticeships.

“Labor has a comprehensive plan to fix the vocational education crisis caused by the Coalition’s savage cuts to the sector,” Senator Cameron said.

“Labor will ensure one in 10 jobs on major federal projects goes to an Australian apprentice and we will scrap upfront fees for 100,000 TAFE students, including 10,000 for those studying early education.

“Labor will also invest $100 million in a Building TAFE for the Future Fund to revitalise TAFE campuses and facilities in regional and outer metropolitan areas.

“A Shorten Government will also guarantee at least two-thirds of government vocational education and training funding goes to TAFE to ensure quality learning and improved job opportunities for Australians.”

Labor Candidate for Page, Patrick Deegan, said the National Party has cut $3 billion from skills, TAFE and apprenticeships since they came to office.

“The Nationals have defunded and neglected TAFE and the apprenticeship system, and so it's no surprise that the number of people in apprenticeships has collapsed,” Mr Deegan said.

"Here in the seat of Page the number of apprentices has declined by 1,109 since 2013. That's a drop of 40 per cent.

"I'm sick of young people having to move away to find jobs and pursue their careers.  That's why I am determined to see our TAFE apprenticeship system given the support that it needs."

Mr Deegan said Labor will also provide 20,000 adult apprentice program placements for older workers who need to retrain and 10,000 pre-apprentice programs for young people who want to learn a trade.