Liberals’ $1 Billion In Cuts To Apprentices = 377 Fewer Apprentices In Wills

Shadow Minister for Vocational Education and Training, Sharon Bird, Kelvin Thomson, Member for Wills and new ALP Candidate for Wills, Peter Khalil, today visited the Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre in Brunswick and the Fashion Hub at RMIT.


The Liberal’s $1 billion in cuts to apprentice program such as Tools for Your Trade and access and mentoring programs have hit local apprentices hard.


These cuts have also had a devastating impact on apprentices in training in Wills with numbers falling from 1,628 in June 2014 to 1,251 in March 2015 – a drop of 377 local apprentices.


Across Australia, in September 2013 there were 417,700 apprentices in training.  Now, because of the Liberal Government’s savage cuts there are now only 295,300 apprentices (September 2015). 


That is 122,400 fewer apprentices in training across the country. 


Peter Khalil also called on Malcolm Turnbull to come clean about his plans for a Federal takeover of the vocational education system. 


The Liberals have an appalling track record in the vocational education sector so far – they cannot be trusted with our TAFEs.


The former Victorian Liberal Government decimated TAFE in Victoria. Now Steve Herbert and Victorian Labor are working hard to restore our TAFE system.

In 2015, the Andrews Labor Government invested in TAFEs heavily through a range of initiatives including the $320 million TAFE Rescue Fund, the $50 million TAFE Back to Work Fund, a $50 million TAFE Boost fund and a $16 million investment in Skills and Jobs Centres.


The Andrews Government is using this funding to re-open campuses, rebuild facilities and to help TAFEs meet their unique role supporting vulnerable and rural and regional Victorians into quality training and jobs.


Federal Labor has also announced a full, evidence based reviewof the vocational education and training system and a National Priority Plan for TAFE including aTAFE guaranteewhich 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 Turnbull Government cannot be trusted with education and training people for the workforces of the future.