Tony Abbott last night revealed he has no plan for the biggest cohort of people in training and apprenticeship places in Australia’s history.
The Opposition Leader’s Budget reply was consistent with years of Coalition silence on skills and training.
Australia has close to half a million apprentices and trainees and about 1.9 million students undertaking vocational and educational training in the public system – more than ever before.
Yet Tony Abbott is more focused on blocking Labor’s $16.2 billion investment in school improvement and cutting superannuation to the bone for low income earners – including many students.
Mr Abbott doesn’t have a single policy on skills. In fact, in many states where the LNP is in power, funding to TAFEs and training budgets generally have been cut.
Australians have a choice at the federal election in September.
Under Labor, the Government has invested over $19 billion is total skills funding – an increase of 77 per cent from the Howard Government.
Labor introduced VET FEE-HELP, so that students have access to loans for higher-level training.
Under Labor, more people from regional areas and disadvantaged backgrounds are undertaking training.
Labor has provided people with pathways to jobs and training.
In the Budget, Labor introduced two new measures under which the Government will work with industry and employers to improve skills and training even further.
“Labor has invested in the skills and training we need now and in the future,” Minister for Higher Education and Skills Sharon Bird said.
“Only a Labor Government will build on our investment – not cut to the bone our future skills and jobs.”