Shadow Minister for Vocational Education Sharon Bird and ALP Candidate for Calare Jess Jennings will visit Orange TAFE today to highlight the dramatic loss of apprentices from the electorate.
The Abbott-Turnbull government’s $1 billion in cuts to apprentice programs such as Tools for Your Trade and access and mentoring programs have slashed 819 apprentices from Calare.
Sharon Bird said the number of apprentices in training in Calare has fallen from 3182 in June 2014 to 2363 in March 2015 – a drop of 25 per cent in less than 10 months.
“In the two years from September 2013, Australia lost 122,400 apprentices in training due to these cuts.”
Jess Jennings said this makes a mockery of the Nationals’ claim to support industries and business.
“Recently, National Party MP Mr Cobb was crowing about the 334 Calare apprentices who had applied for government loans over the past year to support their apprenticeships. But he’s remained silent on the 819 apprenticeship positions that have disappeared entirely from the electorate,” said Jess Jennings.
Jess Jennings also called on Malcolm Turnbull and Barnaby Joyce to come clean about their plans for a Federal takeover of the vocational education system.
“The NSW Liberals and Nationals have an appalling track record in the vocational education sector so far – they cannot be trusted with our TAFEs. And Mr Turnbull and Mr Joyce are liable to wreck it even further,” said Jess Jennings.
In New South Wales, the O’Farrell and Baird Liberal Governments, over the past three years, have sacked over 3,600 teachers and 1,000 support staff from TAFE. Course costs have escalated and the Liberals have further plans to close or cut regional campuses.
Federal Labor has announced a full, evidence-based review of the vocational education and training system and a National Priority Plan for TAFE including a TAFE guarantee which places it squarely as the public provider within the VET sector and ensures TAFE’s viability and strength into the future.
Labor’s policies will ensure that our kids, people returning to work and workers in areas in transition will get the opportunities and the skills they need for the jobs of the future.
The Abbott-Turnbull government has cut almost $2.5 billion from skills and training, and $29 billion from our schools.
On top of all that Malcolm Turnbull also wants to cut university funding by 20 per cent and deregulate fees which could see students paying $100,000 for a university degree.
Labor is backing TAFE and training because we believe every Australian – young or old, from the city or the bush – has an equal right to share in the jobs and opportunities of the future.
TUESDAY 10 MAY, 2016