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Birmingham's elitist attack on TAFE insults working Australians



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SENATOR THE HON DOUG CAMERON SHADOW MINISTER FOR HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS SHADOW MINISTER FOR SKILLS AND APPRENTICESHIPS SENATOR FOR NEW SOUTH WALES

BIRMINGHAM’S ELITIST ATTACK ON TAFE INSULTS WORKING AUSTRALIANS

In his weekend doorstop interview Simon Birmingham epitomises the contempt the Turnbull government has for working class Australians and the TAFE system.

Belittling a system that has contributed so much to workers’ skills, and the economy by likening it to ‘basket-weaving’ is elitist and disgraceful.

It is particularly galling given the Turnbull government has cut vocational education and training (VET) funding by over $3b in their five years of neglect and incompetence and presided over a decline of more than 140,000 apprenticeships and traineeships.

Labor is determined to ensure that the TAFE system can provide opportunities to Australians who choose to access vocational education, including pursuing a trade or a traineeship in the services, disability or emerging robotics and artificial intelligence industries.

Australians recognise that TAFE is an iconic institution that has been severely disadvantaged by competition policy, privatisation and funding cuts.

In contrast to the Coalition’s lack of leadership, funding cuts and reliance on temporary skilled visa levies, Labor has a comprehensive and fully funded plan. This includes a once in a generation review of the post-secondary education and training system.

A Shorten Labor Government will:

 Scrap upfront fees for 100,000 TAFE students to gain skills that Australia needs.  Invest $100 million in modernising TAFE facilities around the country.  Guarantee at least two out of three Commonwealth training dollars goes to TAFE.

 Ensure one in every ten jobs on Commonwealth priority projects are filled by Australians apprentices.  Provide 10,000 pre-apprentice programs for young people who want to learn a trade.  Provide 20,000 adult apprentice programs for older workers who need to retrain.

Labor is committed to tackling inequality and giving Australians a fair go. Simon Birmingham’s and Malcolm Turnbull’s elitist and condescending attitude to working Australians is the complete opposite.

MONDAY, 14 MAY 2018

MEDIA CONTACT: LUKE WHITINGTON 0422 265 775

Authorised by Noah Carroll ALP Canberra