MEDIA RELEASE: Thursday 29 November, 2018
With Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s announcing plans to have a “comprehensive” review into our TAFE and VET sector, there are several avenues of enquiry that must be explored.
The first question should be why the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government has waited so long to look into our TAFE system and how quickly it will try to wrap-up this so-called inquiry.
The review must also find answers to the following:
- Why the Federal Liberal-National Government has cut more than $3 billion from our TAFE system since it came to power in 2013
- Why apprentice numbers have plummeted by nearly 40% since 2013
- Why Minister Michaelia Cash has given Pauline Hanson a $60 million cash splash to buy votes in the bush
Electrical Trades Union National Secretary Allen Hicks said there was a need for an inquiry into the TAFE and VET sector, but a rushed job will have no benefit for young people or the nation.
“Morrison and Cash’s inquiry is merely a thought bubble to take attention off a serious mess of their making that will have ramifications for decades ahead,” Mr Hicks said.
“It has not been given any proper thought and will have very little depth.
“This review won’t be comprehensive because it won’t give proper attention to the problems that have plagued the sector since the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government came to power in 2013.
“Our TAFEs have been gutted of more than $3 billion funding over the past five years, with $270 million ripped out in this year’s budget alone.
“These cuts have come during a construction boom across Australia, when we need apprentice numbers massively increased to build the $75 billion Future Frigates and Submarines and the $100 billion in rail infrastructure planned over the coming decade alone.
“We know that any Liberal Party review of our TAFEs will recommend watering-down and fast tracking of qualifications and I guarantee the ETU and other unions will not allow that to happen.”
ETU National Apprentice Officer Mark Burgess called on Morrison and Cash to answer why key stakeholders in the VET sector have not been consulted, dismissing the notion that the review would be in anyway thorough.
“Michaelia Cash has not reached out to anyone to participate in this review, other than their mates in the business community who already get taxpayer subsidies to take on apprentices,” he said.
“There have been no discussions with the ETU, which has a keen interest in standing up for apprentices and making sure they learn the necessary skills for the high-skilled jobs of the future.
“Any serious and comprehensive review of our skilled-training sector needs the inputs of unions and the workers they represent.
“Otherwise, it’s clear this review will be nothing but the Liberals’ attempt to look like they are doing something after years of doing nothing.”
Media enquiries: ETU National Communications Coordinator – Nicholas McCallum
0419 499 886, firstname.lastname@example.org