A PLAN to scrap upfront fees will make it easier for those attending North Metropolitan TAFE Midland to gain skills to get a trade, a traineeship or a quality job, according to Labor’s candidate for Hasluck Lauren Palmer.
Ms Palmer said the policies Labor was taking to the next federal election would also make it easier for businesses to fill skills shortages.
She said Labor’s fully costed package of policies to support and regenerate TAFE and apprenticeships included waiving upfront fees for 100,000 students to attend TAFE, ensuring that one in every ten jobs on Commonwealth priority projects were filled by Australian apprentices and providing 20,000 adult apprentice programs for older workers who want or need to retrain.
Ms Palmer joined Senator Glenn Sterle and federal Opposition Digital Economy, Employment Services, Workforce Participation and the Future of Work spokesman Ed Husic on a tour of North Metropolitan TAFE Midland last month.
She said TAFE had educated and trained millions of Australians including thousands across the electorate of Hasluck and continued to support the learning of hundreds and thousands of others, despite on-going cuts and neglect.
“Many trades face skills shortages – from carpenters to bricklayers to bakers to pastry cooks,’’ she said.
“But despite high unemployment in some areas, workers can’t learn the skills that industries are crying out for.
“TAFE is the best place for young Australians to develop these skills in the communities that need them.
“This is part of Labor’s $470 million plan to boost TAFE, apprenticeships and skills for Australians.’’
Senator Sterle said the Liberals’ budget cuts had left the skills and training sector in decline.
“In the last five years, more than $3 billion has been cut from TAFE and training and Australia has 140,000 fewer apprentices today than we did when the Liberals were first elected.
“Since September 2013, 826 apprenticeships have been lost across the electorate of Hasluck alone.
“TAFE courses have been cut, campuses have closed and TAFE teachers have lost their jobs.
“This has reduced employment opportunities for middle and working class people, including women, young people and workers retraining later in life.
“It has also limited our capacity to meet demand in growing occupations in the disability, aged care, and technology focused sectors.
“While Malcolm Turnbull cuts from skills and TAFE to pay for an $80 billion tax handout to big business, Labor has a plan to invest in TAFE and apprenticeships, and ensure Australians have the skills they need to succeed in our changing economy.
“Labor’s plan has a budget impact of $473 million over the forward estimates and $708 million over the medium term.’’