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Defence training lite.

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Tue, 28th October 2008 DEFENCE TRAINING LITE

The Hon Bob Baldwin MP Shadow Minister for Defence Science, Personnel and Assisting Shadow Minister for Defence

Dr Andrew Southcott MP Shadow Minister for Employment Participation, Training and Sport

The Minister for Defence Science and Personnel will tomorrow launch a less comprehensive Defence skills program than what was developed by the Coalition just over a year ago.

On 24 October last year, the Coalition announced a comprehensive plan to provide high quality schooling and trade education to students who wanted a career in the Australian Defence force or related defence industries.

The former Howard Government had proposed two dedicated Australian Defence Technical Colleges, 2,200 Defence Skills Scholarships, an Australian Centre for Defence Skills and a Defence Software Engineering Institute in South Australia.

“The Rudd Labor Government’s Defence Technical Scholarships are simply a rebadging of the 2200 Defence Skills Scholarships, only that it is 700 places short and there are no technical colleges,” said Mr Baldwin.

“It is disappointing that the Rudd Labor Government did not adopt the Coalition’s entire plan to encourage strong pathways from school into the Australian Defence Force.”

Andrew Southcott said the Rudd Government had weakened pathways from school to the Australian Defence Force by scrapping the two Australian Defence Technical Colleges, planned for Adelaide and South East Queensland.

“These technical colleges would have built stronger pathways between school and the defence force, it’s unfortunate Labor has not seen the benefit of this,” Dr Southcott said.