Evidence given in Senate Estimates late yesterday has confirmed the Government has neglected the National Trade Cadetship Program, with students in the critical years 11 and 12 suffering another blow at the hands of the Abbott Government.
Despite the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority’s (ACARA) website stating the implementation phase of the policy for years 11 and 12 is due to take effect from February 2015, it was revealed the policy has in fact been secretly left to stagnate, with ACARA officials revealing in Senate Estimates:
SENATOR DEB O’NEILL: The current Federal Government policy change means it’s not going forward, years 11 and 12? Your forward program has been changed? There has been a policy change by the Abbott Government?
ACARA OFFICIAL: Yes.
An initiative of the former Labor Government, the National Trade Cadetship Program would have offered students in years 11 and 12 the opportunity to complete an industry-endorsed vocational training program designed to develop work-readiness skills in preparation for employment in a skilled profession.
Shadow Minister for Education, Kate Ellis, said Christopher Pyne should own up to his neglect of the National Trade Cadetship Program, which is yet another blow to the employment prospects of young Australians.
“Today’s revelation isn’t surprising given the Government’s abysmal record when it comes to the employment prospects of our young people,” Ms Ellis said.
“The youth unemployment rate is a staggering 14.2 per cent, with an estimated 297,600 young Australians in the jobless queue right now.
“At a time when the young people of Australia need more support than ever, it is shocking that the Government has deserted an industry-endorsed vocational training program.”
Shadow Assistant Minister for Education, Amanda Rishworth, said the loss of the program was the latest hit for young Australians, after the Government’s $950 million cut to Trade Training Centres and $128 million cut to critical youth unemployment prevention programs.
“Tony Abbott and his Government have presided over a period of the fewest young Australians in work since 2006, yet are still committed to cutting or abandoning critical programs designed help young Australians transition from school to work.
“If Tony Abbott was serious about boosting the employment prospects of young people through education he would restore the $950 million in cut funding to Trade Training Centres, restore the $128 million in cut funding to critical youth unemployment prevention programs such as Youth Connections, and restart the development of the National Trade Cadetship policy for years 11 and 12.
“It’s clear that the Abbott Government has failed when it comes to the training and employment opportunities of our students.”
THURSDAY, 26 FEBRUARY 2015