LIBERALS WON’T FIX VET CRISIS WITH ELECTION EVE SPIN

1 Apr 2019

Reports in the Courier Mail today that Scott Morrison has seen the light on TAFE, skills and apprenticeships after six years of savage Coalition cuts are a joke.

SENATOR THE HON DOUG CAMERON
SHADOW MINISTER FOR HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS
SHADOW MINISTER FOR SKILLS, TAFE AND APPRENTICESHIPS
SENATOR FOR NEW SOUTH WALES
 
LIBERALS WON’T FIX VET CRISIS WITH ELECTION EVE SPIN
 

Reports in the Courier Mail today that Scott Morrison has seen the light on TAFE, skills and apprenticeships after six years of savage Coalition cuts are a joke.
 
Australia’s vocational education and training (VET) system is underfunded, fragmented, devalued and has no effective governance.
 
Since being elected, the Liberals have cut $3 billion from VET and there are now more than 140,000 fewer Australian apprentices.
 
Over the same period, TAFE enrolments have plummeted by 24.5 per cent, dodgy for-profit training providers have flourished and thousands of students have accrued bad debts for courses they never undertook.
 
The Government’s own regulator, the Australian Skills Quality Authority, said parts of the Australian training market are in “a race to the bottom” and the Productivity Commission has described the Australian VET system as “a mess”.
 
The Liberals mismanagement of VET sees Australia to the bottom of OECD international leader charts when it comes to our capacity to engage in global value chains.
 
If Australia’s skills crisis really “played on the mind of Morrison” as reported, he would not have cut a further $270 million from apprenticeships in last year’s Budget when he was Treasurer.
 
And the Coalition would not have funded former Family First Senator Bob Day’s ‘Student Builder’ pilot which cost a staggering $92,000 per student.
 
Or the $60 million One Nation-inspired “Bush Wage” which was ideologically tailored to exclude any employer that engages its staff under an enterprise bargaining agreement.

This means thousands of the small businesses with a proven track record of investing in their employees are not eligible for the overly generous scheme.

Instead, about 1600 regional businesses that pay minimum wages, most having never invested in apprentices, are receiving the windfall.
 
Added to all this, the Government was forced to abandon the failed Australian Apprenticeship Management System, wasting $24 million of public money.
Women continue to bear the brunt of the Coalition’s ineptitude with a further 4.4 per cent drop in those commencing apprenticeships and traineeships in the 12 months to September 2018.
If elected, a Shorten Labor government will guarantee at least two out of three public vocational education dollars go to TAFE.
 
Labor will also:

  • waive upfront fees for 100,000 students to attend TAFE
  • invest $100 million in modernising TAFE facilities around the country
  • ensure one in every 10 jobs on Commonwealth priority projects are filled by Australian apprentices
  • provide 10,000 pre-apprenticeships for young people wanting to learn a trade
  • provide 20,000 advanced entry apprenticeships for older workers to retrain
  • appoint an Apprenticeship Advocate to ensure quality and protect apprentices

 
Labor will also conduct a once in a generation inquiry into the post-secondary education system to identify and fix the problems created by the Liberals.

It’s taken an impending election for the Coalition to finally admit that the VET system is failing under their government, and they are taking the electorate for fools if they think people will believe they have the will or capacity to fix it.
 
MONDAY, 1 APRIL 2019
Authorised by Noah Carroll, ALP, Canberra.