Australia’s TAFE, apprenticeship and skills sector is facing cuts of $500 million a year under the Turnbull Government.
Today, Labor is calling on Malcolm Turnbull to step in and stop these cuts in the May budget.
The National Partnership Agreement on Skills Reform – funded and delivered by the former Labor government – provides vital funding to states and territories to support TAFE, apprenticeship and skills programs.
The agreement expires on 30 June this year – and the Turnbull Government’s own budget papers show there is nothing to replace it.
If Mr Turnbull lets these cuts happen, it will mean fewer TAFE courses, higher course fees and lower course quality.
Young Australians who want to learn a trade and get a good job will be worse off because of these cuts.
Malcolm Turnbull is overseeing a national TAFE and training crisis.
In government, the Liberals have cut more than $2.5 billion from skills and training programs. There are about 130,000 fewer apprentices in Australia than when the Liberals were elected in 2013.
In parts of Australia, youth unemployment is above 25 per cent. Underemployment is at record highs and wages growth is at record lows – this is the worst possible time for Malcolm Turnbull to be cutting even more from TAFE and apprenticeships.
Not every young person wants to go university, but every young person deserves the opportunity to gain real skills and get a good job.
We should be making it easier for young people to learn a trade, not harder.
It beggars belief that Malcolm Turnbull’s budget includes a $50 billion tax handout to big business and the banks, but he can’t find $500 million to properly fund TAFE and training programs.
If we want to be a country with well-paid secure jobs in the future, we need to be investing in TAFE, apprenticeships and skills today.
It’s time for Malcolm Turnbull to end the TAFE and training crisis and stop these cuts.
$500 MILLION IN CUTS TO TAFE, APPRENTICESHIPS & SKILLS – BY STATE & TERRITORY:
- New South Wales – $165 million a year
- Victoria – $128 million a year
- Queensland – $105 million a year
- Western Australia – $53 million a year
- South Australia – $37 million a year
- Tasmania – $11 million a year
- Australian Capital Territory – $8 million a year
- Northern Territory – $5 million a year
MONDAY, 10 APRIL 2017