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Labor's skills policy: smoke and mirrors.
The Hon Andrew Robb AO MP Minister for Vocational and Further Education
Thursday, 15 November 2007
LABOR’S SKILLS POLICY: SMOKE AND MIRRORS
Labor yesterday replaced hundreds of thousands of Coalition training places with hundreds of thousands of Labor’s training places. Their policy is smoke and mirrors.
Kevin Rudd has scrapped 240,000 training places under the Works Skills Voucher program and confirmed that Labor will abandon the 128 Australian Technical Colleges which would have educated 50,000 students per year.
Work Skills Vouchers provide up to $3,000 and are designed to improve the basic skills of the Australian workforce aged 25 or over and are essential to help people who are already in employment move into higher level positions, to assist people to cope with higher levels of technology in their workplace and to better skill those who are looking for work to enter the
The Works Skills Voucher programme has been extraordinarily successful in 10 short months, leading to the Coalition uncapping the program. In other words, whatever the demand may be for training places above the estimated demand of 240,000 places, the Coalition has committed to meeting it.
Since the introduction of this program over 50,000 people have already been assisted through this program and it is estimated that over the next four years a minimum of 60,000 people per annum will use these vouchers to train and re-train.
Labor’s abolition of this program comes on top of Labor’s announcement that they would abandon the 128 Australian Technical Colleges around the country.
Once these Colleges are operating at full capacity they will be training 50,000 students per year.
“Mr Rudd says he wants to train and re-train people and to get them into the work force, yet Mr Rudd wants to get rid of the Government program that is doing exactly that: Work Skills vouchers,” said the Minister for Vocational and Further Education, Andrew Robb.
“Mr Rudd says he wants a trade certificate to be as important as a University degree, yet the Government program designed to allow secondary students to pursue a career in the trades,
get a year 12 certificate, as well as help them feel that trade skills are as important as academic skills, is one that Mr Rudd wants to cut: Australian Technical Colleges.”
“Mr Rudd also says that he wants to have an extra 65,000 apprentices, yet in 1996 when Labor was last in office there were only 30,900 apprenticeship completions for the year.”
“This compares with 544,000 apprenticeship completions over the last four years.”
“On education, like everything else, don’t listen to what Labor says. Look at what they do.”
Media contact: Andrew Coombe 0438 777145