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Penalising States over ANTA not the answer.



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MEDIA RELEASE Anthony Albanese MP Shadow Minister for Employment Services & Training Federal Member for Grayndler

Penalising States over ANTA not the answer

Today the Shadow Minister for Employment Services and Training, Anthony Albanese called on the Minister for Education Brendan Nelson to stop threatening the State and Territory Governments over funding for skills training and offer a better deal for young people and for Australia.

Commonwealth funding for TAFE is provided through the Australian National Training Authority Agreement, currently under negotiation between the Commonwealth and States or Territories.

For refusing to accept the latest offer that fails to address the need for growth funding, State and Territory Governments are facing financial penalties of $25 Million and being threatened with an additional loss of $30 Million if they don’t sign the agreement by Christmas Eve.

It is an outrage that the Commonwealth Government is penalising State and Territory governments for doing the right thing and refusing to accept an agreement that does not address the fundamental issues of growth funding for ANTA that is needed to address skills shortages throughout the Country.

Last year nearly 15,000 young Australian missed out on a place at TAFE even though they met the entry requirements simply because the Government refused to adequately fund vocational education and training. Under the Howard Government more young people will keep missing out on a TAFE place.

By contrast, a Labor Government will create 20,000 new TAFE places.

Labor’s TAFE policy - Aim Higher: Learning, Training and Better Jobs for More Australians - will ensure all Australians can access the training and education opportunities that will improve their long-term career prospects.

Minister Nelson has to stop threatening the State and Territory Governments over funding and offer a better deal for young people to get the support they need and for Australia get the skills it needs for Nation building.

Monday, 22 December 2003

For further information/comment: Anthony Albanese 0419 777 597