30 October 2013
Response to COAG Reform Council’s report on education and skills
In response to today’s report (http://www.coagreformcouncil.gov.au/reports/education/education-australi...) that shows that 27% of young Australians were not in full-time work or study, rising to 40% for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon spokesperson for Higher Education said:
“We understand that post-school study isn’t for everyone, and that some young people may wish to take a break before entering university, TAFE or the workforce, but we are alarmed by some of the figures in today’s report.
“The gap between disadvantaged students and those more well off is a very worrying trend. The Greens are concerned that under the regressive policies of the Abbott government, the gap will continue to grow.
“The proposals being floated by Education Minister Christopher Pyne to privatise HECS debt, will increase student fees, and we know this will be deterrence to students from disadvantaged backgrounds attending university.
“The proposed $2.3 billion cuts to higher education which include the scrapping of the Start-Up Scholarship used by tens of thousands of students on Youth Allowance, will further exacerbate this inequality.
“The Greens want to reverse this trend by properly funding our universities and TAFEs and providing students with adequate income support.
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