Federal Member for Bendigo Lisa Chesters MP, has today condemned Malcolm Turnbull for slashing funding to TAFE in Central Victoria but delivering an $80 billion tax cut to big business in a move that will hurt students and Central Victorian jobs.
The Federal Budget confirms Malcolm Turnbull and the Liberals have taken an axe to TAFE, slashing over $270 million from TAFE, skills and training across the country – which is at least a $60 million cut to Central Victorian students.
“Here in Central Victoria, we know what happens when the Liberals cut funding for TAFE. Campuses close, teachers lose their jobs and students miss out on the opportunity to get a good, secure job.
“Many trades in Central Victoria face skills shortages – from carpenters to bricklayers to bakers to pastry cooks. But despite high unemployment in some areas, workers can’t learn the skills that industries are crying out for.
“To be frank, our VET sector is failing to train enough skilled local workers currently required by local industries.
“State Labor continues to make the investments needed to rebuild TAFE – while our Federal Liberal Government continues to evade paying their fair share for vocational educational,” said Ms Chesters
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 and will scrap upfront fees for 100,000 TAFE students who choose to learn the skills that Australia needs.
“This commitment is vital as TAFE is the best place for young Central Victorians to develop these skills in the communities that need them.
“Central Victorians, like most Australians, love TAFE and many started their careers in a TAFE or trade-based apprenticeship.
“We believe that everyone with ability and dedication should get the chance to study at TAFE.
“Labor’s policy to scrap upfront fees will make it easier for Central Victorians to gain the skills they need to get a trade, a traineeship and a quality job – and make it easier for our local businesses to fill skills shortages,’ said Ms Chesters.
In addition to our commitment to waive fees for 100,000 students, Labor will:
• Invest $100 million in modernising TAFE facilities around the country.
• Guarantee at least two out of three Commonwealth training dollars goes to TAFE.
• Ensure one in every ten jobs on Commonwealth priority projects are filled by Australians apprentices.
• Provide 10,000 pre-apprentice programs for young people who want to learn a trade.
• Provide 20,000 adult apprentice programs for older workers who need to retrain.
“The contrast couldn’t be clearer – while Labor invests in TAFE and our kids’ future, all the Liberals do is cut,’ said Ms Chesters.