Despite all his rhetoric about jobs and growth, Malcolm Turnbull has taken the axe to yet another skills program, cutting $120 million and closing the Industry Skills Fund
The funding cuts have come on the same day as NCVER reported apprenticeship and trainee commencements decreased by 8.4 percent from June 2015 to 2016 and completions decreased by 16.3 percent over the same period.
This is despite the Liberals promising, just last year, that the Fund would meet the needs of Australian businesses and workers.
“This is a new way of providing support to businesses that need to upskill or retrain their employees to enable their business to grow, diversify, adopt new technologies, or take advantage of new market opportunities,”
[Simon Birmingham, 19 January 2015]
Cutting skills programs won’t help create jobs or grow the economy – quite the opposite.
The Liberals have now cut almost $3 billion from skills and apprenticeships, with a further cut of $500 million a year from our TAFE system looming in 2017. MYEFO also shows their latest VET Student Loans changes will reduce investment by as much as $25 billion over the next 10 years.
The question is: with so many cuts, how will young Australians and those who need to re-train get their foot in the door for jobs in the future?
It’s clear Malcolm Turnbull doesn’t have the answer.
The Industry Skills Fund was meant to boost business productivity and increase competitiveness across the economy.
Despite the incompetence of the government in managing the Industry Skills Fund, the funding if properly directed could have been used to increase apprentice and trainee commencements and completions across the country.
Instead the Liberals have spent $2 million on former Senator Bob Day's pet "student builder" project in South Australia, a project which will not result in participants gaining a trade certificate.
This is a government obsessed with its internals and incapable of delivering the skills and apprenticeships required to increase skills and improve our international competitiveness.
THE HON KATE ELLIS MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR TAFE AND VOCATIONAL EDUCATION
MEMBER FOR ADELAIDE
SENATOR THE HON DOUG CAMERON
SHADOW MINISTER FOR SKILLS AND APPRENTICESHIPS
SENATOR FOR NEW SOUTH WALES