PM’S PLATITUDES WON’T FIX LIBERALS TRADE SKILLS MESS

24 Sep 2018

Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s lip service on skills shortages and trade training will not fix five years of Liberal neglect of the vocational education system.

SENATOR THE HON DOUG CAMERON
SHADOW MINISTER FOR HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS
SHADOW MINISTER FOR SKILLS, TAFE AND APPRENTICESHIPS
SENATOR FOR NEW SOUTH WALES
 
PM’S PLATITUDES WON’T FIX LIBERALS TRADE SKILLS MESS
 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s lip service on skills shortages and trade training will not fix five years of Liberal neglect of the vocational education system.
 
Under the Liberals:

  • $3 billion has been cut from vocational education
  • there are 140,000 fewer apprentices
  • TAFE enrolments have plummeted by 24.5 per cent
  • Did nothing while thousands of students accrued bad debts
  • $24 million on failed Australian Apprenticeship Management System
  • dodgy training providers have flourished

 
Today’s concession by Mr Morrison that vocational education has been “an area of great disappointment over many years” will come as no surprise to the thousands of people charged for courses they have not completed.
 
Shadow Minister for Skills, TAFE and Apprenticeships, Doug Cameron, said there is no use the Liberals complaining about a skills crisis they created.
 
“This Government has an appalling record on vocational education and they have now installed a failed minister, one with a huge cloud over her head due to her role in the AWU raids scandal,” Senator Cameron said.
 
“The Government’s crocodile tears over skills shortages are disingenuous as they have failed to address these issues over the past five years.
 
“If Senator Cash and the Coalition paid more attention to improving vocational education instead of attacking workers, their unions and each other, we would not be in this mess.
 
“The Coalition could not even build an effective apprenticeship management IT system, squandering $24 million on the abandoned AAMS project.”
 
Senator Cameron said the Liberals continued to pay millions of dollars to disgraced private providers like Careers Australia despite concerns being raised about the company years prior.
 
“They had the facts – they knew how many students were getting enrolled,” Senator Cameron said.
 
From 2009, Labor provided VET FEE-HELP scheme loans of $1.4 billion over five years, many going to TAFE students. When the Coalition was elected, VET FEE-HELP loans skyrocketed to $1.8 billion in 2014 and a staggering $3 billion in 2015, totally $6 billion from 2014-2016, mainly to private providers.

 
If elected, a Labor government would, within the first 100 days, conduct a once in a generation inquiry into the post-secondary education system.
 
A Shorten Labor government will also provide $100 million to the Building TAFE for the Future Fund to revitalise campuses across Australia and waive upfront fees for 100,000 TAFE students.
 
Labor will also ensure one in every 10 jobs on Commonwealth priority projects are filled by Australians apprentices.

MONDAY, 24 SEPTEMBER 2018
Authorised by Noah Carroll, ALP, Canberra.