The Andrews, Palaszczuk and Weatherill Labor Governments have today called on the Turnbull Government to urgently commit to a new national skills funding model or risk disadvantaging Australians from participating in training.
The National Partnership Funding for skills runs out in June and the Turnbull Government is yet to call a meeting of state and territory training ministers to discuss a new agreement.
By not signing a new agreement, Victoria will lose as much as $130 million a year meaning fewer students will have access to training; Queensland will have a critical shortfall of more than $100 million and South Australia in excess of $25 million.
The Labor Governments have called on the last three Liberal training ministers and current assistant minister to come to the table with a way forward – something they’ve failed to do.
At every turn, the Turnbull Government has ignored vocational education and training. In December last year it was revealed Mr Turnbull ripped $119 million from his Industry Skills Fund – a massive blow to students and industry.
This is on top of Mr Turnbull’s mismanagement of VET FEE-HELP which the Coalition took years to act on, costing taxpayers billions of dollars and causing a rapid decline in confidence in the sector, resulting in plummeting student numbers.
Quotes attributable to Victorian Minister for Training and Skills Gayle Tierney
“It beggars belief that the Turnbull Government has failed to commit to a new National Partnership agreement on training which will cost Victoria as much as $130 million next financial year alone which is equal to around 50,000 training places.”
“Mr Turnbull is denying Victorians access to the quality training they need to get a job by refusing to come to the table.”
“The Turnbull Government needs to focus its attention on signing a new agreement with the states and territories instead of spending all its time doing deals with One Nation.”
Quotes attributable to Queensland Minister for Training and Skills Yvette D’Ath
“By denying Queensland its training funds, the Turnbull government is denying Queenslanders job opportunities. The Palaszczuk Government is passionate about creating jobs and providing people with the necessary skills and training to get into the workforce and build careers. We need the Turnbull Government to come to the party and pay their fair share.”
“Now is not the time for Canberra to cut funding that is vital for helping people develop new skills in a fast-changing world.”
Quotes attributable to South Australian Minister for Higher Education and Skills Susan Close
“It’s important that as a nation we build on the structural reforms of the last National Partnership.”
“Continued investment in reform from the Commonwealth in training and skills is critical to support the evolving and diversifying Australian economy.”
“There is an imperative that we support priority industry sectors such as defence and NDIS, as well as regions that are experiencing economic transition. We can’t afford for the Commonwealth to stay silent while industry growth is dependent on a skilled workforce.”