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Wednesday, 15 August 2007
Page: 22

Debate resumed from 13 August, on motion by Mr Robb:

That this bill be now read a second time.

upon which Mr Stephen Smith moved by way of amendment:

That all words after “That” be omitted with a view to substituting the following words:

“whilst not declining to give the bill a second reading, the House recognises that the Government has failed to act to address the skills needs of the Australian economy by:

(1)   its continued failure over 11 long years in office to ensure Australians get the training they need for a skilled job and to meet the skills needs of the economy;

(2)   slashing funding to the existing TAFE system, with Commonwealth revenues in vocational education decreasing by 13 per cent from 1997 to 2000 and only increasing by one per cent from 2000 to 2004;

(3)   failing to make the necessary investments in existing vocational education and training infrastructure to create opportunities for young Australians to access high quality vocational education and training in all our secondary schools and in the TAFE system;

(4)   creating an expensive, inefficient, and duplicative network of stand alone Australian Technical Colleges, without cooperation or consultation with the States within the existing Vocational Education and Training framework;

(5)   appropriating more than half a billion dollars for 28 Colleges that will produce 10,000 graduates by 2010 when by the Government’s own estimates there will be a shortage of 200,000 skilled workers over the next five years;

(6)   failing to provide opportunities for young people interested in pursuing vocational education and trades training who do not live near the 28 Australian Technical Colleges; and

(7)   not recognising that a broad approach covering all of Australia’s 2650 secondary schools and the 1.2 million students in Years 9, 10, 11 and 12 is needed to meet Australia’s future skills needs.”