HUNTER VALLEY NEWS COLUMN 1 JULY 2015

Last Thursday Labor announced that we will guarantee funding for TAFE. This announcement is part of Labor’s plan to make skills and training a national priority. This will mean quality vocational education in the Hunter electorate, and more kids getting the opportunities and the skills they need for the jobs of the future.

As our economy changes, the need for a highly-skilled workforce will be even greater.

TAFE also provides access to critical courses that no other provider delivers, especially for apprentices. I know that the local community supports the teachers, staff and students at Muswellbrook and Scone Campuses .

TAFE plays a vital role in training local school-leavers, apprentices, mature aged workers and women looking to retrain to re-enter the workforce.

That’s why Labor is backing TAFE. That’s why I’m backing TAFE.

The Abbott Government have already cut $2 billion from TAFE and vocational education – including a massive $1 billion cut to support for apprentices. And this is just the beginning. Tony Abbott’s Federation Green Paper proposes the Commonwealth completely abandon its role in funding vocational education and training.

Labor commits to working with the states and territories to continue to refine the contestability of VET funding so that we get the balance right.

In addition to the TAFE funding guarantee, Labor will work with Premiers and Chief Ministers on a comprehensive National Priority Plan which properly defines and supports TAFE and places it at the centre of our vocational education and training sector.

I am backing TAFE and training because I believe that every member in our community – young or old – has an equal right to share in the jobs and opportunities of the future.

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To contact the office, phone 1300 301 753, visit www.joelfitzgibbon.com or by post 3 Edward Street, (PO Box 526) Cessnock, 2325.


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