Futher Proof That Investment In Skills Is Critical

Sharon Bird, Shadow Minister for Vocational Education, said that the statement from 63 leading economists, as reported in The Guardian, is further proof that the Abbott Government needs to start taking the skilling of our nation seriously and stop making savage cuts to the funding of apprenticeships and training programs.

The statement from 63 economists outlines why claims of a Budget emergency are misplaced.  Richard Denniss, Executive Director of the Australia Institute goes further, saying that “the real crisis would be having one million people unemployed in Australia”.

“One of the best things a Government can do to help Australians get a job is to invest in education and that includes apprenticeship and skills programs.  In the current economic climate, the area of skills and training should never have been the target of savage Budget cuts,” Sharon Bird said today.

“Tony Abbott has taken the axe to programs for apprentices, programs to help workers with numeracy and literacy and programs to help current workers upskill to help them through workforce changes into the future. 

“This is backward thinking and in stark contrast to what we should be doing, which is investing in the skills and training that our students and workers need to help them get and keep a job. 

“This statement by leading economists backs up what Labor has been saying about the $2 billion worth of cruel cuts to skills and training in the Budget.”

Government’s economic responsibility is to establish policies which support Australian firms, workers and communities to utilise their full potential to work, produce, generate income and sustainably consume.

Economists’ Statement on Commonwealth Budgetary and Economic Priorities, September 2014

 “It is time that this Government started to formulate policies that help people to train and upskill rather than looking at ways to axe funding, limiting the voices providing advice to Government and narrowing the range of industries supported through Commonwealth training programs,” Sharon Bird said.