The expansion of the Skills Priority List, released this morning, shows the deeply concerning legacy of the Morrison Government’s refusal to properly fund skills training over the past decade.  

Successive coalition Governments have gutted our skills and training systems and left young people with fewer options and higher costs.  

The ACTU welcomes the Albanese Government increasing the link between skilled and permanent migration and their commitment to addressing the funding shortfalls inherited from the previous Government.  

However, the updated list released today shows us how far we have to go to ensure that all young people have access to the education and training they need to find a secure job.  

Quotes attributable to ACTU Assistant Secretary Scott Connolly: 

“Australia has suffered a decade of attacks on skills, training, TAFE and universities at the hands of successive Coalition Governments.  As consequence workers, business, our economy and entire community are all suffering because of it. 

“Everyone came together at the Jobs Summit and agreed that Australians desperately need re-investment in skills and training – the Albanese Government have listened, and now need to act quickly.  

“Migrant worker exploitation has been rife in Australia because visas have been temporary and tied to employment, giving employers incredible power over vulnerable workers – unions welcome the Albanese Government’s focus on permanent migration.  

“Businesses must not be allowed to go back to using migration as an alternative for improving pay and conditions. The National Skills Commission found in this report that employers are unwilling to increase wages to attract the right candidates, and many workers are leaving industries because they’re burnt out.”