Almost $1 Billion Underspent on TAFE and Training in the Past 5 Years
Labour has released recent figures showing the federal education department didn’t spend $214 million of its total $1.141 million budget for vocational education in 2018/19.
According to the education departments 2018/19 annual report, it has been revealed that they’ve spent less than budgeted on crucial programs such as Trade Support Loans, Apprenticeship Incentives and Australian Apprenticeships Centres.
This recent news has come as a surprise to Labour’s shadow education minister Tanya Plibersek who stated that the coalition was,
“Shortchanging TAFE and Training by almost $1bn, despite Australia suffering a national shortage of tradies.”
In July earlier this year, skills minister Michaelia Cash highlighted that “University is for learning, VET is for earning” following the release of the Joyce Report and “the skills you learn in vocational courses are in-demand in Australia.”
Despite the skills minister recognising the national skills shortage in Australia, the TAFE and Training sector was underpaid $138 million in 2014-15, $247 million in 2015-15, $118 million in 2016-17 and $202 million in 2017-18.
With 150,000 fewer Australians in apprenticeships than in 2013, Plibersek believes “If the Liberals don’t do something serious to fix the skills crisis they have created, we could be looking at the extinction of the Australian tradie.”
Labour plans to discuss this recent news at a senates estimate hearing on Wednesday.
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