Disgraced former Industrial Relations Minister Michaelia Cash today announced a panel to oversee reform in the vocational training sector.

The panel, ironically titled the “Industry VET Stakeholder Committee”, will have no representation for the people participating in the VET system.

It includes the Business Council of Australia, the Australian Industry Group, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, major accounting firms KPMG and PwC as well as the Council of Small Business Organisations Australia, but no representatives of working people.

Budget cuts to TAFE, privatisation and a refusal by Liberal governments to listen to the needs of working people in the sector has created a serious skills shortage while leaving thousands of young people unemployed.

At the same time huge amounts of public money has been wasted on providers who rip off students and do not deliver the skills training we need.

This panel looks to be more of the same from a Government that will do anything to accommodate its big business donors.

Quotes attributable to ACTU Assistant Secretary Scott Connolly:

“Excluding working people from a discussion about skills training is disappointing but not surprising from a government that caters exclusively to the interests of big business.

 “The Morrison Government is pursing a policy agenda designed to keep wages low, attack the rights of working people and give even more power to big business.

“We need skills training which puts the needs of working people first and fills genuine skills shortages, not a system that pours money into the pockets of for-profit training providers.

“To fix the big problems in VET the Morrison government needs to listen to all stakeholders and act on their concerns.  We call on the Morrison Government to include working people in this process.”