Federal Labor to restore TAFE

A Shorten Labor Government will super charge the skills economy by reversing the decline in apprentices and restoring TAFE as the centrepiece of Australian vocational education.

Under the Liberals, more than $3 billion 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.

Labor’s announced a $1 billion investment that will provide 150,000 Additional Apprentice Incentives in areas of skill shortages – reversing the decline that has occurred under the Liberals.

If elected this year, Labor will enable 100,000 students to go to TAFE without upfront fees. A Shorten Labor Government will also:
• Invest $200 million to rebuild and upgrade TAFE campuses across the country.
• Support 10,000 young Australians to do a pre-apprentice program to prepare them for work.
• Provide support for 20,000 older workers to retrain through an Advanced Adult Apprenticeship.
• Guarantee at least two out of three dollars of public funding goes to public TAFE.
• Require at least one in 10 jobs on all major infrastructure and defence projects to be filled by an apprentice.
• Establish an Apprentice Advocate, to improve the quality of Australia’s apprentice system and develop a long term plan for skills and training.

On budget night, Australia saw the Treasurer’s cynical ‘pea and thimble trick’ with vocational education funding locking in a $3 billion cut to the sector.

The 300,000 projected apprentices and trainees the government promised in 2017 has now proven to be an illusion, with the target in this Budget revised down to just 80,000.

Josh Frydenberg’s claim that he is increasing vocational education funding is therefore nothing more than a cynical and desperate exercise to cover his cuts.

The reality is the Coalition Government has done absolutely nothing to address the 150,000 decline in apprenticeships or the 24.5 per cent drop in TAFE enrolments on their watch.

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Dodgy surplus built on NDIS underspend

The Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government has shamefully built almost a quarter of their projected budget surplus on underspends in the NDIS.
Next year, Scott Morrison has counted a $1.6 billion underspend towards the budget bottom line.

This is a disgrace, not an achievement.

It’s $1.6 billion in services and support that people with disability will miss out on because the Government has botched the NDIS rollout at every turn.

It comes on top of a shocking $3.4 billion underspend in the 2018-19 financial year, and over $6 billion to date.
This is a direct result of delays in the NDIS rollout – with over 77,000 people missing out on the NDIS this year alone.

And it is a consequence of people being unable to use their plans because services and support are simply not available.
The NDIS has fallen into crisis under this Government.

People are getting poor quality plans; they are not being treated with respect; services are being pushed to the brink; and waiting times are completely unacceptable.

After six year of neglect, the Government’s knee-jerk announcement on NDIS prices – six weeks out from an election – is too little, too late.

The bottom line is, Australians with disability are the ones paying so Scott Morrison can bolster his books.

Catherine King MP, Shadow Minister for Health