Malcolm Turnbull’s announcement today that the vocational education portfolio has been demoted down to a Parliamentary Secretary position has spelled the end of any sort of government support for apprentices, TAFE and vocational education.
This will be the fifth person with responsibility for the vocational education portfolio in the Abbott/Turnbull Government. At a time when the sector is in crisis we have seen a revolving door of Ministers, and now the portfolio has been downgraded to an Assistant Minister.
This is further proof that the Prime Minister’s "Jobs and Growth" slogan is all talk, no action. It shows he has no interested in preparing Australians for the jobs of the future.
The Liberals did not have one policy to save TAFE or apprentices during the election.
During their last term in office they cut $2.75 billion from the skills portfolio, including $1 billion from apprentices. This has created a crisis in apprentice numbers, dropping by 136,400 since their election to office in September 2013.
We have seen gross mismanagement of VET FEE-HELP with no real solutions – only the Government’s ill considered, rushed changes last year which allow colleges who obtained massive amounts in 2015 to continue to receive them in 2016.
The Prime Minister should just come out and admit that he doesn’t care about TAFE, doesn’t care about apprentices and has no interest in ensuring that we train people for Australia’s future workforce.
This government prefers their fallback position of relying on 457 visas rather than also working to train Australian citizens to truly encourage jobs and growth into the future.
MONDAY, 18 JULY 2016