New information – obtained from the Education Department through Senate Estimates – shows five eligible schools in the Hunter electorate will never get the opportunity to have a Trade Training Centre because of Tony Abbott’s cuts.
With many areas facing trade skills shortages, and higher youth unemployment, the Government’s decision to cancel all future Trade Training Centres simply can’t be justified.
“Young people need skills and work experience to get good jobs, and Trade Training Centres mean high school students get the opportunity to do that,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.
“By denying students these opportunities will just make youth unemployment worse, and rob our young people of a fair shot at getting a job.”
The Abbott Government has cancelled the Trade Training Centres program and cut $950 million out of the Budget – enough to build 650 new centres.
The Abbott Government is also pressing ahead with extraordinary and punitive attacks on young people which will make it harder for the next generation to grow their skills, get work and build Australia’s future.
The Abbott Government has also cut all three federal youth unemployment prevention programs – Youth Connections, Partnership Brokers and National Career Advice. Programs which help young Australians finish year 12, get work experience and understand their options for the future.
“Denying young people the dole for six months no matter how hard they are trying to find work, while at the same time as scrapping real opportunities to gain skills and advice for employment programs is grossly unfair and simply doesn’t make sense,” he said.
“How can Tony Abbott expect our young people to get jobs when he is taking away their opportunity to get the skills to be work ready.
With youth unemployment standing at 13.5% in the Hunter valley (excluding Newcastle), and rising across the country, there will be long-term price to pay for these cuts.
“If we look at welfare dependency, and economic growth and even the crime rate, these could all get worse as a result of these cuts,” he said.
"It's now clear that when Tony Abbott said there would be no cuts to education, it was nothing but a con."
"School communities that have missed out will not let the Government get away with this," he said.