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Monday, 25 June 2018
Page: 6286

Mr HUSIC (Chifley) (16:09): If we want to help Australians get good jobs, it's quite simple—we need to invest more in education and skilling people up for the future. This is going to require stronger investment in TAFE, not the cuts that we've seen. That's why Labor has got a plan, because this side believes investing in TAFE is way more important than giving tax cuts to the big end of town. Labor will guarantee TAFE funding to give young people the opportunity to learn a trade and help workers reskill. We will waive up-front fees for 100,000 TAFE students and make one in 10 jobs on priority government infrastructure projects go to an apprentice.

Youth unemployment is now above 20 per cent in parts of the country. Thousands of older workers have lost their jobs after the coalition abandoned the automotive manufacturing industry. The government's TAFE cuts are set to hurt workers—now and into the future—who want to get their foot back in the door, especially older workers who need to reskill. Having recently celebrated National TAFE Day, we have an opportunity to remember the accomplishments of our great public TAFE system, and it's a reminder that TAFE is too good to lose.

I also want to send a big shout-out to Chifley's Jessica Chironna, who has been named TAFE New South Wales Apprentice of the Year. Jessica is a Mount Druitt local and completed a certificate III in engineering, light fabrication, at TAFE New South Wales Mount Druitt. She was recently announced winner at the 2018 TAFE New South Wales Western Sydney Excellence Awards. I wish Jessica all the very best in her no doubt successful endeavours to come. Well done.