The peak body for working people condemns the Morrison Government’s so called ‘bush wage’ – a hugely wasteful and ineffective band aid over the massive funding cuts made by the Abbott/Turnbull/Morrison government to apprenticeships and vocational education and training.

If rolled out nationally the new program is projected to cost $11 billion over four years with the aim of placing just 1630 apprentices.

Between Sep 2013 and Sept 2017 apprentice and trainee numbers dropped by a staggering 150,000. A 37% drop over the life of the Abbott/Turnbull/Morrison government.

The TAFE sector lost one-sixth of its financing in 2016, with operating revenues falling 16.8 per cent to $8.14 billion.


Quotes attributable to ACTU Secretary Sally McManus:

“The Abbott/Turnbull/Morrison Government refuses to invest in apprenticeship programs that we know work and instead continue to give handouts to big business.

“We have seen through the PaTH program, through CDP, and now this thought bubble, that this Prime Minister and his Government do not care about working people or developing skills, they simply want to funnel public money into private business.

“This program provides a perverse incentive to employers to stop and restart apprentices in order to get the subsidy. This program, like all other employment and skills programs created by the Abbott/Turnbull/Morrison government, treats workers as disposable.

“We need to change the rules to make sure young people get proper skills training which will set them up for a good steady job, not sell them out to big business to be churned through meaningless programs.

“The Morrison Government is demonstrating yet again that it will always side with business over ordinary working Australians.”