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Claims our VET system is leading the world don't stack up



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SENATOR THE HON DOUG CAMERON

SHADOW MINISTER FOR HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS

SHADOW MINISTER FOR SKILLS, TAFE AND APPRENTICESHIPS

SENATOR FOR NEW SOUTH WALES

CLAIMS OUR VET SYSTEM IS LEADING THE WORLD DON’T STACK UP

Claims in Senate Estimates by Australian Skills Quality Authority chief executive

Mark Patterson that Australia’s vocational education system is an internationally

renowned world class system fly in the face of what the experts are saying.

Australia’s VET system is in crisis after more than $3 billion of Coalition cuts,

140,000 fewer apprentices, TAFE closures throughout the country, widespread

rorting of the VET FEE-HELP by for profit providers and costly failures across IT

systems.

Among recent critics are no less than the OECD, the Productivity Commission, the

Business Council of Australia and the ACTU.

A recent report by retired senior public servant Terry Moran showed Australia’s

VET system is underfunded, fragmented, devalued and has no effective

governance. The report showed funding arrangements under the Coalition are

chaotic and there is no national strategy.

ASQA themselves have previously said parts of the Australian training market are

in “a race to the bottom”.

Australia is at the bottom of skill charts for our capacity to capitalise on global value

chains, with the OECD reporting that we don’t have the skills needed to engage

effectively.

Shadow Minister for Skills, TAFE and Apprenticeships, Senator Doug Cameron,

said the overly upbeat assessment by Mr Patterson mirrors that of the Coalition

and is not based in reality.

“Anyway you look at it, Australia’s VET system needs urgent reform and no

amount of sugar coating is going to fix it,” Senator Cameron said.

“TAFE enrolments have plummeted 24.5 per cent, dodgy private training providers

continue to operate, thousands of students have debts for courses they have not

done and $24 million has been wasted on the now abandoned Australian

Apprenticeship Management System.”

Senator Cameron says he has no confidence in the new Skills and Vocational

Education Minister Michaelia Cash to address the underlying problems in the VET

system.

“Our country’s future relies on our young people being properly trained for the jobs

of the future and this is not happening to an appropriate standard under this

hopeless Government and the demoted and disgraced Senator Cash,” Senator

Cameron said.

“Within the first 100 days of a Shorten Labor government, we will conduct a once in

a generation inquiry into the post-secondary education system.

“Labor will also provide $100 million to the Building TAFE for the Future Fund,

waive upfront fees for 100,000 TAFE students and ensure at least two thirds of all

government funding for vocational education will go to TAFE. The balance will go

to not-for-profit community and adult educators, and only high quality private

providers with demonstrated links to industry.”

FRIDAY, 26 OCTOBER 2018

MEDIA CONTACT: JASON GILLICK 0417 152 137

Authorised by Noah Carroll, ALP, Canberra.