Member for Hunter, Joel Fitzgibbon, was pleased to host a visit by Shadow Minister for Vocational Education, Sharon Bird, today.
The Shadow Minister was in Maitland to meet with members of the community to hear their concerns about staffing and funding cuts and course cost increases across the Hunter.
State government cuts to TAFE has meant many teachers and support staff have lost their jobs in the Hunter.
Sharon Bird said that with youth unemployment at roughly 15 per cent in Newcastle and the Hunter it was imperative that Governments invested in TAFEs rather than shutting them down.
“Back in June, Bill Shorten and I announced that a Shorten Labor Government would guarantee that a portion of funding for vocational education is dedicated to TAFE and formed part of Labor’s plan to make skills and training a national priority, by working cooperatively with states and territories.
“This announcement will ensure that our kids, people returning to work and workers in areas in transition, such as the Hunter, will get the opportunities and the skills they need for the jobs of the future.
“Wherever I go, people raise their concerns about the future of TAFE”, Mr Fitzgibbon said.
“They understand the importance of vocational training to job opportunities,” he said.
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.
Labor is backing TAFE and training because we believe every Australian – young or old, from the city or the bush – has an equal right to share in the jobs and opportunities of the future.