The peak body for working people has welcomed an ALP plan for a National Inquiry into Post-Secondary Education should it win office, saying that the vocational education and training (VET) sector in particular is in urgent need of reform.
The Abbott/Turnbull Government has cut public funding for apprenticeships by a billion dollars, and the sector as a whole has seen a thirty percent reduction in its funding over the last decade.
When the Coalition was elected in 2013 there were 413,000 apprentices in training in Australia. But by June last year, that had dropped to 268,600 apprentices – a 35 percent reduction in apprentice numbers.
Quotes attributable to ACTU Assistant Secretary Scott Connolly:
“Young people today are being robbed of the education and job opportunities they deserve.”
“The Turnbull Government has turned their backs on young Australians who want to gain the skills and knowledge they need to thrive.”
“They have taken money from public TAFEs and funnelled it towards dodgy private VET operators at the expense of young Australians who want to learn. It’s indefensible.”
“The ACTU welcomes a full review of the sector that will identify the ways in which privatisation has failed and charts a course that restores publicly funded TAFEs as the backbone of a world-class VET system.”