The Liberals cannot be taken seriously on TAFE or skills and apprenticeships after six years of savage cuts and policy chaos.

Tasmanians won’t be fooled by an election eve announcement that does little to fix the damage of years of cuts.

Federal Member for Braddon Justine Keay said, “Since being elected, the Liberals have cut $3 billion from TAFE and there are now nearly 150,000 fewer Australian apprentices.

“The reality is the Liberals have done absolutely nothing over the last six years to address the loss of apprenticeships in Tasmania which has occurred under their watch.”

Federal Member for Bass Ross Hart said, “If Scott Morrison really cared about the number of Tasmanians who didn’t have qualifications beyond year 10, he would not have cut a further $649 million from apprenticeship funding in last week’s Budget.

“The Liberals have done nothing as 3,600 full time jobs have been lost in Tasmania since May last year.

“The Liberals simply cannot be trusted to develop and support a modern, effective vocational education system that supports young Tasmanians into work.”

Federal Member for Lyons Brian Mitchell said, “Only Labor has the policies to increase the capacity of the vocational education system and the skills of the Australian workforce.

A Shorten Labor Government will:

  • Provide 150,000 Additional Apprentice Incentives in areas of skill shortages – reversing the decline that has occurred under the Liberals.
  • Enable 100,000 students across Australia to go to TAFE without upfront fees.
  • Invest $200 million to rebuild and upgrade TAFE campuses across the country.
  • Support 10,000 young Australians to do a pre-apprentice program to prepare them for work.
  • Provide support for 20,000 older workers to retrain through an Advanced Adult Apprenticeship.
  • Guarantee at least two out of three dollars of public funding goes to public TAFE.
  • Require at least one in 10 jobs on all major Commonwealth infrastructure and defence projects to be filled by an apprentice.
  • Establish an Apprentice Advocate, to improve the quality of Australia’s apprentice system and develop a long term plan for skills and training.

Labor will also conduct a once in a generation inquiry into the post secondary education system to identify and fix the problems created by the Liberals.

It’s taken an impending election for the Liberals to finally admit that the VET system is failing under their Government, and they are taking the electorate for fools if they think people will believe they have the will or capacity to fix it.