A Sneaky Band-Aid Solution For Apprentices

Providing a sneaky $5 million band-aid solution for apprentice mentoring does not make up for almost $1 billion worth of cuts to apprenticeship programs, Sharon Bird, Shadow Minister for Vocational Education, said today.

In the Minister’s speech to the ACCI and ACPET National Skills Summit this morning, the Minister tried to buy off apprentices, parents, their employers and industry with a paltry $5 million band-aid solution following the strong community backlash to almost $1 billion worth of Budget cuts to apprentice programs.

“I have been consistently raising the mismatch between the Minister’s claim to be concerned about apprentice completion rates and their disgraceful axing of the well-regarded Australian Apprenticeship Mentoring Program.

“While I am pleased that the Minister has finally recognised that mentoring apprentices is an important part of helping them to complete their apprenticeship, $5 million is only a measly step in the right direction.

 In the Budget, the Minister axed the following programs:

  • $914 million AXED - Tools for Your Trade Program
  • $32 million AXED - Australian Apprenticeship Mentoring Program
  • $18 million AXED - Australian Apprenticeship Access Program
  • $11 million AXED - Apprentice to Business Owner Program

This is just further evidence that the Abbott Government’s Budget, in its obsession with cutting and axing, has actually abolished programs that were particularly important to get people into jobs.  

The Abbott Government got it wrong on apprenticeships and skills.