TURNBULL TURNS HIS BACK ON 40,000 VICTORIAN APPRENTICES

The Andrews Labor Government has today called on Malcolm Turnbull to end the uncertainty around skills funding and sign up to a new deal.

Despite the National Partnership on Skills Funding running out in June, the Turnbull Government is yet to confirm whether a new agreement will be signed.

New modelling from the Department of Education and Training shows the agreement, worth around $130 million to Victoria this financial year, is equal to 43,000 Victorian apprenticeships or 50,000 training places.

The national partnership was set up in 2012 to improve the quality of training and to make it accessible to all Australians, especially people who face extra barriers to training like financial hardship.

It was also meant to drive training reform but the Turnbull Government, who has left the heavy lifting to the states and territories, has ignored it.

While Victoria has spent the last two years improving the training system after four years of Liberal mismanagement, the Turnbull Government has ripped $119 million from its Industry Skills Fund – a massive blow to Victorian students and industry.

This is on top of Malcolm Turnbull’s rushed introduction of new VET student loans and botched management of VET FEE-HELP, which caused a rapid decline of confidence in the sector at a cost to taxpayers of billions of dollars.

The Labor Government has cleaned up the state based training system by terminating the contracts of 20 training providers who weren’t delivering for students, with $48 million in taxpayer funds identified for recovery.

By not signing a new national partnership agreement the Turnbull Government is risking not having a skilled workforce in the future to increase productivity and to boost the economy.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Training and Skills Gayle Tierney

“It’s time for the uncertainty to end and Malcolm Turnbull to sign up to a new National Partnership on Skills.”

“Malcolm Turnbull’s do-nothing approach to training and skills will hurt Victorian students, businesses and the economy – something we can’t afford.”

“We’ll always support apprentices and the TAFEs who train them but it’s time the Turnbull Government played their part.”