MEDIA RELEASE: LIBERALS SHORTCHANGE TAFE, TRAINING & APPRENTICES BY $1 BILLION - WEDNESDAY, 23 OCTOBER 2019

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THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR EDUCATION AND TRAINING
MEMBER FOR SYDNEY

GED KEARNEY MP
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR SKILLS
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR AGED CARE
MEMBER FOR COOPER
 

LIBERALS SHORTCHANGE TAFE, TRAINING & APPRENTICES BY $1 BILLION

A new report reveals Scott Morrison has shortchanged TAFE, training, and apprenticeship programs by almost $1 billion, despite the fact Australia is suffering a national shortage of tradies.
 
The Federal Education Department’s latest annual report confirms that since 2014, the Liberals have failed to spend a massive $919 million of their own TAFE and training budget – an underspend of more than 17 per cent. 
 

FINANCIAL YEAR

2014-15

2015-16

2016-17

2017-18

2018-19

TOTAL

Underspend

-$138m

-$247m

-$118m

-$202m

-$214m

-$919m

 
Apprentice and tradie programs have been worst affected – including apprentice incentives for business, support to help people finish apprenticeships, and a fund designed to train Australians in areas of need. 
 
The Liberals’ $1 billion underspend is in addition to the more than $3 billion they have already ripped from TAFE and training. 
Is it any wonder that under Scott Morrison our TAFEs are in disrepair and apprentice and trainee numbers have fallen off a cliff?
 
Mr Morrison claims his Government “want[s] to really lift the status of vocational education in Australia,” but the truth is he’s shortchanging TAFE and training by nearly $1 billion. 
 
If the Liberals don’t do something serious to fix the skills crisis they have created, we could be looking at the extinction of the Australian tradie.  

We have a shortage of workers in critical services including plumbing, carpentry, hairdressing, and motor mechanics.  
 
Under the Liberals, there are 150,000 fewer apprentices and trainees.

The number of Australians doing an apprenticeship or traineeship is lower today than it was a decade ago.  

There are more people dropping out of apprenticeships and traineeships than finishing them.  

Businesses are crying out for more trained staff.  The Australian Industry Group says 75 per cent of businesses surveyed are struggling to find the qualified workers they need.
 
There are almost two million Australians who are unemployed or under-employed.
 
Now we know why Scott Morrison isn’t training these people for jobs in industries facing skills shortages: because he’s starving TAFEs and training of funding. 
 
By locking Australians out of education, the Liberals are locking Australians out of jobs. 

By presiding over a skills crisis, the Liberals are holding Australian businesses back. 
 
Australians deserves excellent TAFEs and universities - the Liberals have gutted both. 



WEDNESDAY, 23 OCTOBER 2019