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Give then take - Abbott's apprenticeship con

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Campaign Media Release


Tony Abbott’s plan to give apprentices an $80 million loan while cutting $1.1 billion in funding for Trade Training Centres reinforces the Coalition’s complete lack of interest in skills and training.

Mr Abbott’s Treasury spokesman is on the record saying the Coalition would ‘abolish’ Trade Training Centres in schools, while Labor is promising all secondary school kids will have access to a Trade Training Centre by 2018.

Mr Abbott also needs to say whether he supports the Fair Work Commission’s boost to apprentice wages last week, supported by Labor. That will make a real difference - because that's real money in apprentices pockets, not just a loan.

Mr Abbott failed to release a skills and training policy in 2010 and his so-called ‘Real Solutions’ pamphlet made no reference to this area, but he’s now trying to pull the wool over the eyes of apprentices.

In contrast, the Rudd Labor Government is already providing apprentices with the tools they need for their trade.

The Tools for your Trade payment gives apprentices $5,500 over the course of their trade to help cover the costs of buying their equipment.

We also introduced HECS style loans for VET course fees in 2009, which helped more than 55,000 students in 2012.

Labor has helped 70,000 Australians into an apprenticeship through Apprenticeship Kickstart.

We’ve also invested in Trade Training Centres, ensuring every senior student in the country will have access to a centre by 2018.

We recently announced the $35 million Step into Skills program, which will deliver foundation skills to 8900 disadvantaged young people to boost their chances of securing a job or further training.

We’re the Party that’s committed to skills - after the neglect of the former Coalition Government, this government has invested more than $19 billion in skills over the last five years.

25 AUGUST 2013