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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.
- Despite the national skills shortage, the education department 2018-19 annual report reveals that only $928 million of the $1.1bn TAFE and Training budget has been spent this year.
- This news has come amid a critical shortage of workers in industries such as plumbing, carpentry, hairdressing and motor mechanics.
- Taking into account the underspending of the department over the past five years, Labour has deduced that this has equated to a total of $919 million.
According to the education department 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.
Labor believes that over the past five years, $919 million of the
TAFE and Training budget hasn't been spent
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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