Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Budget 2018: Labor's failure on vocational education and training

Download PDFDownload PDF

THE HON KAREN ANDREWS MP Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills Federal Member for McPherson


11 May 2018

Labor’s failure on Vocational Education and Training

Do not listen to Labor. Bill Shorten and the Labor Government have their facts wrong again.

The Coalition has not cut one single cent from TAFE funding. Funding of TAFE has always been the responsibility of States and Territories.

Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills, Karen Andrews MP said, if Labor is so committed to funding TAFE directly, then it is making a fundamental shift in the Commonwealth/State relationship that would further allow states to neglect their responsibilities in this area.

“In 2012, the Labor Government signed a five-year National Partnership Agreement with the states. Labor’s grand plan was a virtual “blank cheque” to states that delivered no real benefits to Australia’s VET system,” Assistant Minister Andrews said.

“In fact, it forced TAFE into stronger competition with private training providers that resulted in TAFE’s share of VET students dropping from 60 per to 49 per cent.

Labor’s record on vocational education and apprenticeships is atrocious.

“We all witnessed the biggest decline in apprentices on record which occurred in Labor’s last year in office (June 2012 - June 2013) when Bill Shorten was Employment and Workplace Relations Minister. The number of apprentices in training fell by more than 110,000 or 22 per cent.”

Labor also threw together the expanded VET FEE HELP Scheme that opened the door to rorting by dodgy training providers and wasted billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money.

Assistant Minister Andrews said, the failure of this scheme under Labor led to severe reputational damage to the VET sector and left many young Australians with debt, but no job.

The Turnbull Government has committed $1.5 billion to a new Skilling Australians Fund in the Budget, which will create an extra 300,000 apprentices over the next four years to ensure our growing and emerging industries have the skilled workforce they need.

“We care about the status of VET and have taken real steps to once again promote it in the Australian community as a real and positive choice for all Australians, something Labor has woefully failed to do”, Assistant Minister Andrews said.

Minister Andrews’ media contact: Ian Adam 0428 234 258