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Kemp myopic about skill shortages and TAFE funding.

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Kemp Myopic About Skill Shortages And TAFE Funding

1.8 Million Young Australians Shortchanged

Kim Carr - Parliamentary Secretary for Education

Media Statement - 29 June 2000

Dr Kemp is undermining the national vocational education scheme by his belligerent, myopic approach to building a quality, high-skilled TAFE system, according to Labor Senator Kim Carr. Senator Carr is Labor's Parliamentary Secretary for Education.

"The Ministerial Council Meeting to be held tomorrow, 30 June, should be making decisions that improve education for the 1.8 million Australians involved in TAFE and private training organisations," Senator Carr said. "Ministers are negotiating the new agreement (ANTA agreement) which funds Australia's 84 TAFE Institutes and 4,000 private training organisations, and adult and community education programs." [ANTA is the Australian National Training Authority.]

Senator Carr said that Dr Kemp was behaving in a reckless and contemptuous manner. "He is lashing out in all directions when he should be pressing for new partnerships between government, industry and the community in vocational education. "Our priority must be to guarantee this country the skills, expertise, knowledge and innovation needed to meet increasingly complex economic and social demands," he said.

"Dr Kemp's New Apprenticeship System is not delivering and cannot deliver without growth funds and a renewed emphasis on quality outcomes," said Senator Carr. He said that Kemp's latest attack upon Labor State Governments ignored some crucial facts:

Although growth in the system of traineeships and apprenticeships has been significant, recent figures show that most of the growth has been in the Labor states. 30.7% are in clerical, sales and service industries.


In recent years growth in the "quickie" new areas has been of the order of 219%, while in Victoria, for example, the highly-skilled Fabrication Engineering numbers have fallen by 16% since 1996: the majority of the growth is made up of traineeships, not apprenticeships.


Australia faces acute skill shortages and by international standards is falling further behind in relative terms, despite improvements in overall educational standards. ●

Traineeship drop-out rates, on some data, are reaching 60%. ●

The TAFE system is starved of funds: there has been no money for growth for three years, despite the Government's own projections for increased demand, and Kemp ●

intends to provide nothing in the foreseeable future.

Kemp needs to join with the States in focussing on reaching a new ANTA agreement that puts the emphasis on quality provision in TAFE and on identifying the priority areas for growth" Senator Carr said. "His mindless attack on four Labor States is a transparent attempt to deflect attention from his own Government's abject failure and irresponsible neglect in vocational education and training.

Authorised by Geoff Walsh, 19 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600.