Bill's Media Releases

Bill Shorten Slams Cuts To TAFE

The Federal Member for Maribyrnong, Bill Shorten, today expressed his profound concern about the impact of the Ballieu government’s savage cuts to TAFE funding.

Mr Shorten said the $300 million dollar cuts will have an impact across Victoria, including his electorate of Maribyrnong.

“I’ve been informed today that the Kangan Institute, which has campuses across Melbourne including Moonee Ponds and Essendon, will be forced to terminate 52 courses with job losses of 175 over the next 18 months,” Mr Shorten said.

“This will adversely affect students, staff, employers and the small businesses which rely on students and staff for part of their income.”

The Federal Minister for Tertiary Education, Chris Evans, met yesterday with TAFE directors and is investigating the impact of TAFE cuts on the Federal Government’s Skills Package, agreed to at the COAG meeting in April.

“We know that Victoria is facing a skills shortage right now, yet the Liberal Government thinks it’s appropriate to rip $300 million out of the biggest training provider in the State – the TAFE system,” Mr Shorten said.

“I recognise that all governments need to make tough decisions from time to time to meet fiscal targets, but one of the best ways to enhance a person’s job prospects is to ensure they have skills that are in demand and transferable.”

Skills Australia estimates that leading up to 2015 there is going to be a demand for an additional 144,000 people with a Certificate III/IV and 114,000 people with a Diploma across Victoria.

“The Ballieu government’s decision is short-sighted in the extreme, and will prevent thousands of students – especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds – from getting access to courses that will train them for a good job, while employers will potentially miss out on the skilled workers they so desperately need,” Mr Shorten said.

[ENDS]

 Suburbs in the Maribyrnong electorate include: Aberfeldie, Airport West, Albion, Avondale Heights, Brooklyn (part), Essendon, Essendon North, Essendon West, Kealba, Keilor East, Keilor Park, Maribyrnong (part), Moonee Ponds, Niddrie, St Albans (part), Sunshine, Sunshine North and Tullamarine (part).

Media Contact:

Jayne Edwards

Kieran Barns-Jenkins

9326 1300