Labor set to invest $1bn into the TAFE sector
A $1 billion investment has been announced by Federal Labor to refresh the TAFE sector and increase the number of apprenticeship students, to contribute to areas when skills shortages are substantial and improve the economy.
With this budget, opposition leader Bill Shorten is emphasising the rift between the two major parties on skills gaps and apprenticeships. This investment is set to undo the weakening TAFE sector.
“A Shorten Labor Government will supercharge the skills economy by reversing the decline in apprentices and restoring TAFE as the centrepiece of Australian vocational education,” Mr Shorten said.
“Under the Liberals, more than $3bn has been cut from TAFE, skills and apprentices, and Australia now has 150,000 fewer apprentices and trainees than when Labor left government in 2013.”
The budget presented a $525m skills package that has pledged to produce an additional 80,000 apprenticeships in industries that are recognised with skills shortages. This will be undertaken by doubling incentive payments to employers, as well as offering a $2000 payment to apprentices.
Despite this, Treasury department officials have established that only $55m of that figure can be identified as new funding. The remaining amount was repurposed funding that was previously promised to Victoria and Queensland.
This skills plan will also include:
Eligible workers will be offered recognition for their current skills, with the option for additional training to fill gaps in their skill sets.
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