Almost $2 billion in cuts to apprentices and skills funding by the Abbott Government will have a huge impact on local apprentices, students and workers seeking to reskill or upskill. The Abbott Government’s cuts were outlined by Hon Sharon Bird MP, Shadow Minister for Vocational Education, at a forum hosted by Tony Zappia MP, Member for Makin, last night.
“The Abbott Government has taken the axe to apprenticeship assistance again by cutting $1 billion from support for apprentices alone. The Abbott Government has axed the Tools for Your Trade Program, the Australian Apprenticeships Access Program, the Australian Apprenticeships Mentoring Program and the Apprentice to Business Owner Program,” Sharon Bird said.
“Further, they have simply rebadged Australian Apprenticeships Centres with a new name but have added extra tasks such as providing job matching, mentoring and support – all with $10 million per year less money. They have also slashed funding for the $12.5 million Joint Group Training Program - a cut by 20 per cent applies this year and the program is axed completely in 2015-16.”
Mr Zappia said the forum provided useful feedback from employers, apprentices, school leavers, and others interested in taking up a trade.
“There is widespread concern throughout the community about the lack of job opportunities for young people, particularly in the current economic climate,” Mr Zappia said.
“With rising youth unemployment we should be supporting young people who want to pursue a trade or gain skills, rather than cutting funding for apprenticeship pathways,” Mr Zappia said.
Instead of investing in jobs for the future and skilling up our existing workforce, the Abbott Government has ripped almost $2 billion from the skills portfolio by axing the following programs:
- Tools for Your Trade Program
- National Workforce Development Fund
- Workplace English Language and Literacy Programme
- Australian Apprenticeships Access Programme
- Accelerated Australian Apprenticeships Programme
- Australian Apprenticeships Mentoring Programme
- Apprenticeship to Business Owner Programme
- National Partnership Agreement on Training Places for Single Parents
- Alternative Pathways Programme
- Productive Ageing through Community Education
- Step Into Skills Programme
20 NOVEMBER 2014