LIBERALS’ PLAN FOR 1,600 APPRENTICES TO REPLACE THE 150,000 LOST IS A JOKE

30 Apr 2019

The Liberals’ extension of the ‘bush wage’ by a meagre 1,600 places will not atone for the 150,000 apprenticeships and traineeships lost since they were elected.

SENATOR THE HON DOUG CAMERON
SHADOW MINISTER FOR HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS
SHADOW MINISTER FOR SKILLS, TAFE AND APPRENTICESHIPS
SENATOR FOR NEW SOUTH WALES
 
LIBERALS’ PLAN FOR 1,600 APPRENTICES TO REPLACE THE 150,000 LOST IS A JOKE
 

The Liberals’ extension of the ‘bush wage’ by a meagre 1,600 places will not atone for the 150,000 apprenticeships and traineeships lost since they were elected.
 
This election will be a choice between a Shorten Labor Government that will give 150,000 Australians the opportunity of completing an apprenticeship, or more of the Liberals’ cuts and chaos.
 
The Liberals’ scheme simply encourages businesses to view young workers as a source of cheap labour by paying large incentives to rural employers with no history of training.
 
A Shorten Labor Government would instead provide extra incentives for 150,000 apprenticeships as part our $1 billion TAFE and vocational education investment.
 
The Liberals’ scheme is based on a One Nation policy and will not solve Australia’s skills crisis, or address the 25 per cent drop in TAFE enrolments.
 
Earlier this month the Morrison Budget confirmed the Skilling Australians Fund has been cut by a further $649 million. Senate Estimates also revealed their
$525 million Budget skills package was just $54.5 million in new money.


The Liberals and Nationals can’t be trusted. They have severely damaged vocational education, cutting more than $3 billion in funding, closing TAFE campuses and allowing dodgy for-profit providers to gouge the system.
 
They have failed regional Australia on vocational education, closing TAFEs, reducing apprenticeships and not providing the skilled workers rural businesses need.
 
The Morrison Government has also tailored their scheme to exclude employers which hire staff on enterprise bargaining agreements, and those companies which already employ apprentices.
 
This means regional businesses which pay minimum wages, many having never invested in apprentices, will receive the unsustainable government largesse.
 
Skills Minister Michaelia Cash must guarantee the families of young workers the scheme will be safe and free from exploitation.
 
Senator Cash must explain what steps have been taken to ensure the safety of apprentices, what the cost of the scheme will be if extended across the country, and why workshops with enterprise agreements are being excluded?
 
If elected, a Shorten Labor Government would provide more than $1 billion in additional investment in TAFE, including:

  • $50 million for 10,000 Pre-apprenticeship Programs.
  • $83 million to support 20,000 Adult Apprentices.
  • $200 million Building TAFE for the Future Fund.
  • $380 million for 100,000 fee-free TAFE Places.
  • $334 million for 150,000 Additional Apprentice Incentives.

Labor will also ensure 1 in every 10 jobs on Commonwealth priority projects are filled by Australian apprentices, and we will conduct a once in a generation inquiry into the post-secondary education system to identify and fix the problems created by the Liberals.
 
A Shorten Labor Government will also introduce an apprentice advocate who will work across all jurisdictions ensuring, safety, quality training and the well-being of apprentices across the country.
  
FRIDAY, 26 APRIL 2019
Authorised by Noah Carroll, ALP, Canberra.