Labor will scrap upfront fees for 100,000 TAFE students

Many trades face skills shortages – from carpenters to bricklayers to bakers to pastry cooks. But despite high unemployment in some areas, many workers can’t learn the skills that industries are crying out for.

The Hon Mark Dreyfus QC MP

Shadow Attorney General
Shadow Minister for National Security
Federal Member for Isaacs

 

LABOR WILL SCRAP UPFRONT FEES FOR 100,000 TAFE STUDENTS

 

Many trades face skills shortages – from carpenters to bricklayers to bakers to pastry cooks. But despite high unemployment in some areas, many workers can’t learn the skills that industries are crying out for.

 

TAFE is the best place for young Australians to develop these skills in the communities that need them. This is where a good government would step in.

 

As part of Labor’s policy to make it easier for Australians to gain the skills they need to get a trade, a Shorten Labor Government will scrap upfront fees for 100,000 TAFE students. This will make it easier for Australians to get the skills they need and make it easier for businesses to fill skills shortages.

 

In the past five years, the Abbott-Turnbull government has cut more than $3 billion from TAFE and training, and Australia has 140,000 fewer apprentices today than we did when the Liberals were first elected.

 

TAFE courses have been cut, campuses have closed and TAFE teachers have lost their jobs.

 

While Malcolm Turnbull cuts from skills and TAFE to pay for an $80 billion tax handout to big business, Labor has a plan to invest in TAFE and apprenticeships, and ensure Australians have the skills they need to succeed in our changing economy.

 

In addition to our commitment to waive fees for 100,000 students, Labor will:

 

  • Invest $100 million in modernising TAFE facilities around the country.
  • Guarantee at least two out of three Commonwealth training dollars goes to TAFE.
  • Ensure one in every ten jobs on Commonwealth priority projects are filled by Australians apprentices.
  • Provide 10,000 pre-apprentice programs for young people who want to learn a trade.
  • Provide 20,000 adult apprentice programs for older workers who need to retrain.

 

Labor’s plan has a budget impact of $473 million over the forward estimates and $708 million over the medium term.

 

This plan puts young people in Isaacs first. I call on the Turnbull government to reverse its TAFE cuts and join Labor in investing in local jobs and local people.

 

MONDAY, 14 MAY 2018

MEDIA CONTACT: PHILLIP CLARKE – 0498 490 466