Federal Labor funding commitment for Bendigo TAFE

Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters MP is today announcing Federal Labor’s funding for Bendigo TAFE and the local vocational education sector.

“A Shorten Labor Government will make TAFE the centerpiece of our training system by guaranteeing at least two-thirds of all Government VET funding goes to local TAFEs including Bendigo TAFE,” said Ms Chesters.

The announcement also includes $100 million for revitalising campuses across the country.

“Central Victorians, like most Australians, love TAFE and many started their careers in a TAFE or trade-based apprenticeship.”

Labor’s TAFE funding guarantee comes at a time when local industries and businesses such as advanced manufacturing, automotive, health and hospitality industries are crying out for more skilled workers.

“I know from talking to local school-leavers and their families, there are simply not enough apprenticeship and traineeship opportunities in Bendigo and Central Victoria.

“To be frank, our current VET sector is failing to train enough skilled local workers currently required by local industries,” said Ms Chesters.

The latest figures released by the National Centre for Vocational Education and Research (NCVER) show the devastating impact Federal Liberal Government cuts have had on apprenticeship numbers.

“After 5 years of cuts and neglect by the Federal Liberal Government Australia now has 130,000 fewer apprentices and trainees than when the Liberals were elected.

“In last year’s budget Malcolm Turnbull cut $600 million from TAFE and apprentices, $3.8 billion from universities and $22 billion from schools,” said Ms Chesters.

Labor will reverse Malcolm Turnbull’s $600 million cuts to skills and training and invest in TAFE and apprenticeships by:
   1. Investing an additional $637.6 million into TAFE and vocational education - reversing the government’s 2017 budget cuts in full
   2. Guaranteeing at least two thirds of public vocational education funding for TAFE
   3. Investing in a new $100 million Building TAFE for the Future Fund – to re-establish TAFE facilities in regional communities, meet local industry needs and support teaching for the digital economy
   4. Setting a target of one in ten apprentices on all Commonwealth priority projects and major Government Business Enterprise projects.
   5. Investing in pre-apprentice programs – preparing up to 10,000 young jobseekers to start an apprenticeship.
   6. Establishing an Advanced Entry Adult Apprenticeships program – to fast-track apprenticeships for up to 20,000 people facing redundancy or whose jobs have been lost.

“This will reverse the decline in TAFE and apprentice programs. Only a Federal Labor Government will provide more opportunity for Australians to gain the skills they need to get good quality jobs,” said Ms Chesters.

For more information on Labor’s plan go to: