After cutting $1 billion from apprenticeship support and sneaking through their first step towards dismantling the apprenticeship system, the Minister for Vocational Education and Skills, Scott Ryan, has now lashed out at Labor for calling him out on his sneaky plans.
While MYEFO did contain a mention of Apprenticeship Training – alternative delivery pilots, the Minister obviously forgot about it until seven months later on 6 May 2016 when he rushed through the tender process, or lack thereof, right before the election was called.
Minister Ryan has not had a good start in this portfolio – starting with plagiarised speeches, rushed program guidelines, a complete lack of a plan to help apprentices and a failure to guarantee funding for TAFE.
All the Minister has done this election campaign is hide in media studios or fill in for more senior colleagues by turning a couple of sods on government projects.
He’s too scared to visit a TAFE because he doesn’t have a plan.
He’s too scared to meet with apprentices because he doesn’t have a plan.
In his media release, he trumpets that he is “working hard” by introducing Trade Support Loans yet only 40,000 loans have been taken up. Australia’s almost 300,000 apprentices don’t want to be loaded up with debt.
While he boasts about continuing incentive payments for employers, he fails to mention that they abolished the incentives paid to apprentices.
He also crows about the Australian Apprenticeship Support Network – this is just a rebadging job with a $10 million per year cut and additional tasks such as job matching, mentoring and support.
The reality is that as at September 2015 there were 122,400 fewer apprentices in training across Australia.
This Minister has announced nothing to address this problem.
It is time that the Minister got out and visited a TAFE or talked to an apprentice and put together a real plan to help train the workforce of the future rather than hiding behind a couple of shovels.
THURSDAY, 26 MAY 2016