NATIONAL SKILLS WEEK 2016 – GOVERNMENT MUST DO MORE THAN DANGEROUS APPRENTICESHIPS TRIALS

24 Aug 2016

National Skills Week, a non-government led initiative to promote skills, commences Monday 29th August.

SENATOR THE HON DOUG CAMERON

SHADOW MINISTER FOR HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS

SHADOW MINISTER FOR SKILLS AND APPRENTICESHIPS

SENATOR FOR NEW SOUTH WALES

 

NATIONAL SKILLS WEEK 2016 – GOVERNMENT MUST DO MORE THAN DANGEROUS APPRENTICESHIPS TRIALS

 

National Skills Week, a non-government led initiative to promote skills, commences Monday 29th August. Labor congratulates those involved in promoting skills and apprenticeships through National Skills Week 2016. Unfortunately, the Turnbull Government is not doing what is required to support skills and apprenticeships in Australia.

The Abbott-Turnbull Government has cut $2.75 billion from the skills portfolio, including $1 billion cut from apprenticeships, since 2013. Apprenticeships have declined by 136,400 leading to a skills shortage crisis that affects the productive performance of every sector of the economy.

Most recently, the Government has given $9.2 million to handpicked organisations such as the Master Builders and National Electrical and Communications Association, to conduct trials on "new systems" of apprenticeships. This was on the basis of a flawed report prepared by a select group of the Minister’s mates.

Rather than spend $9.2 million of public funds on dubious trials run for the benefit of employers only, he should be consulting with all interested parties on how to improve skill acquisition and apprenticeships across all sectors of industry.

Only Labor will stand up for apprentices and a skills system designed to improve the productive performance of the economy.

Labor understands that apprenticeships and proper skill development strategies are critical to meet the needs of industry, and the challenges of technological development and increased international competition.

Labor will consult with the cross bench on moving to establish a Senate committee inquiry into the implications of the government's ill-considered approach to the Australian apprenticeship system.

 

FRIDAY, 24 AUGUST 2016