Fitzgibbon highlights importance of TAFE investment

On National TAFE Day today, Federal Member for Hunter Joel Fitzgibbon has highlighted Labor’s commitment to invest in local jobs and skills by reversing Malcolm Turnbull’s cuts to local TAFE and apprenticeships.

In this year’s budget, Malcolm Turnbull cut another $637 million from TAFE and apprentices – including $192.4 from New South Wales over the next four years.*

Australia now has 130,000 fewer apprentices and trainees than when the Liberals were elected. Malcolm Turnbull has no plan for education and no plan for Australia’s future.

“In too many towns and regional centres across Australia, including in the Hunter, TAFE campuses have closed, courses have been scaled back and fees have increased,” Member for Hunter Joel Fitzgibbon said.

“For generations Australians have followed the trusted path into decent work through an apprenticeship. They provide young people with the opportunity to build prosperous working lives, as well as re-training for experienced workers seeking to reskill throughout their career.

“We will not stand by and watch Malcolm Turnbull cut skills and training even further in the Hunter.”

To mark the occasion, Mr Fitzgibbon will attend a National TAFE Day reception hosted this evening at Parliament House in Canberra.

Australia’s economy is changing fast and the skills Australians need to get well-paid and secure jobs are changing too.

Labor will reverse Malcolm Turnbull’s $600 million cuts to skills and training and invest in TAFE and apprenticeships by:

  1. Establishing a new $100 million Building TAFE for the Future Fund – and re-establishing TAFE facilities in regional communities to meet local industry needs and support teaching for the digital economy.
  2. Restoring TAFE as the backbone of our vocational education system by guaranteeing at least two thirds of public funding goes to TAFE.
  3. Setting a target of one in ten apprentices on all Commonwealth priority projects, because we know local jobs need to be put first.
  4. Investing in pre-apprentice programs to help up to 10,000 young jobseekers start their apprenticeships.
  5. Establishing an Advanced Entry Adult Apprenticeships program to fast-track apprenticeships for up to 20,000 people who are facing redundancy or whose jobs have been lost.

Only Labor will provide more opportunity for Australians of all ages to gain the skills they need to get good quality jobs.

*Source: p35, Budget Paper No.3, 2017-18


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