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Jobs growth needs a healthy TAFE, not Labor's 6 month training stopgap

Media Release
Lee Rhiannon 17 Jun 2016

Investment in public vocational training through our well respected quality TAFE system is the key to securing long-term employment growth. The former Labor Government's steps towards privatization of vocational training have left a huge accessibility gap that Federal Labor is currently proposing to fill with a 6 month training wage. 

Greens MP and Education spokesperson David Shoebridge said: "Neither the Liberal's internships nor Labor's 6 month training placement would adequately give young people the lifetime of skills they need for ongoing employment.

"Young people need quality training from a trusted education provider, and guaranteeing a future for TAFE is the best way to ensure this happens.

"Governments continue to throw away taxpayer funds, paying on average $73,200 for graduates from private collages, while TAFE costs only $10,500 on average.

"The Government's VET FEE-HELP loan system fails to deliver vocational training funding where it is needed, while it continues to deliver profits to private education providers.

"A 6 month training wage can't provide a systemic answer to youth unemployment, when it takes far longer than that to complete most training that would actually prepare a young person for today's modern workforce.

"Rather than ad hoc programs targeting a few people we need to ensure our public educational institutions are not starved of funds and are there to provide quality vocational training for future generations," Mr Shoebridge said.

Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon said: "The current stagnant employment figures show the experiment with privatisation of Vocational Education and Training (VET) is not getting young people into work.

"The privatisation of VET has been a comprehensive failure. The whole system needs to be scrapped and all government funding for vocational education and training returned to the public sector through TAFE.

"Saving TAFE starts with tearing up the 2012 National Agreement on Skills Reform, which has been disastrous for the sector.' "Quality public education and training must be a key commitment of all parties to reduce youth unemployment, and we need to stop privatization before it stops TAFE," Ms Rhiannon said.

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