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Cash needs to fix VET crisis when she returns from Hanoi



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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

CASH NEEDS TO FIX VET CRISIS WHEN SHE RETURNS FROM HANOI

Michaelia Cash must turn her attention to Australia’s vocational education and

training crisis when she returns from the ASEAN economic forum in Hanoi.

Australia’s VET system is in crisis due to $3 billion of Coalition cuts, as well as a

further $270 million cut to apprenticeships in the last Budget.

There are 140,000 fewer apprentices since the Coalition took office and their

flagship apprenticeship policy didn’t outlay a cent for more than a year.

A new report tabled in the South Australian Parliament last week shows Australia’s

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

governance.

The report by retired senior public servant Terry Moran rightly points out that the

Liberals’ funding arrangements are chaotic and there is no national strategy.

Added to this:

 student enrolments in TAFE have plummeted by 24.5 per cent

 dodgy private training providers continue to go bust

 thousands of students have debts for courses they have not done

 $24 million has been expended on the Australian Apprenticeship

Management System and that specific project abandoned

Meanwhile, Senator Cash is telling ASEAN leaders that “we (Australians) have a

leading reputation in the region across many sectors including skills and vocational

education…”

Shadow Minister for Skills, TAFE and Apprenticeships, Doug Cameron, said the

OECD ranks Australia at the bottom of international leader charts when it comes to

our capacity to engage in global value chains.

Senator Cameron said the main barrier to that critical economic activity is our skills

base.

He said Senator Cash is following in the footsteps of her ineffective predecessor

Karen Andrews who would wax lyrical about Australia’s international performance

in spite of the facts.

Ms Andrews gushed at a recent forum “…I think Australia’s system is just as good

and I believe it is actually better than the German system.”

However, the OECD has stated that Australia doesn’t have the skills needed to

engage effectively in global value chains, while Germany’s superior performance

has led to increased employment and improved social outcomes.

As reported in IMD World Talent Rankings, Australia has slipped to 51 on its global

scale for implementation of apprenticeships, down from 22 in 2016.

The Government’s own regulator, ASQA, has reported parts of the Australian

training market are in “a race to the bottom” and the Productivity Commission has

called the Australian VET system ‘a mess’

“I am deeply concerned that Australia’s VET system is sliding further into disarray

and it is beyond the capabilities of this discredited Minister to fix it,” Senator

Cameron said.

“Only a Shorten Labor government will restore TAFE, apprenticeships and other

VET courses to a standard that improves the productive performance of Australian

industry and allows us to create more jobs by engaging in global value chains.”

WEDNESDAY, 12 SEPTEMBER 2018

MEDIA CONTACT: JASON GILLICK 0417 152 137

Authorised by Noah Carroll, ALP, Canberra.