13 April 2017

Western Australia’s TAFE, apprenticeship and skills sector is facing massive cuts under the Turnbull Government, with local Member of Federal Parliament Madeleine King slamming any attack on the sector as short sighted and harmful.

The National Partnership Agreement on Skills Reform – funded and delivered by the former Labor government – provides vital funding to states and territories to support TAFE, apprenticeship and skills programs. 

Ms King said this $500 million a year national agreement expires on 30 June this year – and the Turnbull Government’s own budget papers show there is nothing to replace it.

“It’s not too late for Malcolm Turnbull to stop this cut – the question is, does he want to?” Ms King said.

“Ripping more money out of our local TAFE and apprenticeship programs will mean higher fees, fewer course options and less industry experience for students.”

Ms King said the Liberals had cut more than $2.5 billion from skills and training programs and there were 130,000 fewer apprentices in Australia than when they were elected in 2013.

“It beggars belief that Malcolm Turnbull’s budget includes a $50 billion tax handout to big business and the banks, but he can’t find $500 million to properly fund TAFE and training programs.

“In contrast Labor would make sure one in ten jobs on priority projects go to an Australian apprentice and restore TAFE to the backbone of our training system.”