Deputy Leader of the Opposition and Member for Sydney Tanya Plibersek and Shadow Minister for Vocational Education Sharon Bird visited the Sydney Institute of TAFE today to talk about the devastating impact of the Liberals’ cuts on apprentice numbers, and the importance of supporting TAFE.
The Liberals have ripped $2.75 billion from the skills portfolio, including $1 billion in cuts to apprentices through the Tools for Your Trade program and stripped access to mentoring programs.
Because of the Liberals’ $1 billion of cuts, the Sydney electorate has lost 2,775 apprentices.
In less than one year, our apprentice numbers fell from 6,266 (June 2014) to 3,491 (March 2015).
Under the Liberals, 122,000 apprentices have been lost Australia-wide.
The only plan the Liberals have for vocational education and apprentices is cuts.
The Liberals mismanaged the VET FEE-HELP scheme – and they blame everyone but themselves.
The Liberals axed $1 billion in apprenticeship support and numbers drop by 25 per cent – and again they blame everyone but themselves.
They have no plan to help apprentices.
They have no plan to back TAFE.
The Liberals have an appalling track record in the vocational education and training sector. They cannot be trusted with TAFE.
Over the past three years the NSW Liberal Government has sacked over 3,600 TAFE teachers and 1,000 support staff. Course costs have gone up and the Liberals have further plans to close or cut regional campuses.
Last year, on National TAFE Day, Labor announced our plan to back TAFE. We will develop a National Priority Plan to place TAFE squarely as the public provider within the skills and training sector.
Importantly, we will negotiate with the States and Territories to provide quarantined and guaranteed funding to TAFE.
Labor has also announced a full, evidence-based review of the vocational education and training system to build a stronger VET sector, and to weed out dodgy providers and student rip-offs.
It is vital that we continue to train and retrain our workforce to improve participation, productivity, innovation and growth.
THURSDAY, 2 JUNE 2016