Coalition Cuts To Training Will Hurt Skills Development

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19th August 2010, 04:32pm - Views: 612






People Education Joint Statement From GTA, NESA, TDA 2 image









19 August 2010

Joint Media Statement


Coalition cuts to training will hurt skills development


Australia’s

peak education, training and employment services

bodies today expressed

surprise and disappointment that the Federal Coalition would include some $3 billion in cuts

to recurrent and capital funding to vocational education and training

(VET), as part of its

expenditure savings announced yesterday.


The three peak bodies, Group Training Australia (GTA), the National Employment Services

Association (NESA), and TAFE Directors Australia (TDA), called for urgent clarification of the

foreshadowed spending cuts, in particular:


o

Plans to scrap the near $2 billion Productivity Places Program (PPP).

o

Ending VET and TAFE access to the Education Investment Fund, which provides

funding for infrastructure improvements associated with the enhanced technology and

sustainable training required for Australia, affecting possibly $740 million in new VET

projects.

o

Concern about capability under the funding cuts to support the necessary growth in

skills and apprenticeships, as identified by Skills Australia and the National

Resources Sector Employment Taskforce.

o

Concern about capability under the funding cuts to expand Commonwealth-supported

tertiary education places with specialist non-university sector delivery, as endorsed by

the Review of Australian Tertiary Education, under Professor Denise Bradley

o

Concern about capability under the funding cuts to provide the necessary training to

unemployed jobseekers to support their employment participation.


While the $1 billion cut to the Trade Training Centres program will be offset to some degree

by the Coalition’s commitment to establish new Australian Technical Colleges, there is

nothing, as far as we can tell, to replace the PPP.


The peak bodies described as extremely disappointing the fact that the VET and employment

services sector should be hit with such a substantial withdrawal of funding at a time when

there is an urgent priority on developing and upgrading our skilled workforce.


It is baffling why the PPP program should be scrapped and nothing left to fill the gap. At a

time of looming skills shortages,

and when Australia is looking at ways to improve its

competitive advantage by up-skilling its workforce, it seems extraordinary that so much

funding earmarked in the budget estimates to address these issues is being ripped out of the

system.


As concerned stakeholders who would have been expected to help deliver on Australia’s

current and future skilling agenda, we seek urgent clarification of the Coalition’s plans.

................................................................................................................................................


Media Contact:

Bob Bowden, Foresight Communications, 02 9241 2811, 0412 753 298, bbowden@bowmac.com.au   







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