News & Current Affairs |




3 April 2019


Scott Morrison and Josh Frydenberg have failed a critical test by continuing the Coalition’s appalling neglect of Vocational Education and Training (VET) in last night’s Budget.


There are now fewer people undergoing training than when the Liberal/National Coalition took office.


If this Budget was designed to win back voters, then the Federal Government has forgotten young people by doing nothing to revitalise the TAFE system.


NSW Teachers Federation President Maurie Mulheron said the Coalition had ripped $3 billion out of VET over the past six years and severely damaged TAFE.


“The paltry handout to vocational educational and training is nothing but a con job, repackaging the existing ‘Skilling Australia Fund’ and continuing the privatisation of VET which has been a disaster for young people seeking vocational training,” Mr Mulheron said.


“The Treasurer’s announcement of 80,000 apprentices over five years will not address skills shortages and none of his extra measures will guarantee success,” Mr Mulheron said.


As Treasurer, Scott Morrison handed down the 2018 Budget which cut $270 million from apprenticeships.



He said the Federal Government’s National Skills Commission meant industry would dominate the design of courses.


Since coming into Government in 2013 the Coalition had: 


·     Cut $3 billion from VET;

·     Done nothing to arrest the decline in apprentices with 140,000 fewer apprentices in training;

·     Done nothing as TAFE enrolments plummeted by 24.5 per cent.


Mr Mulheron said the Government’s VET FEE HELP scheme saw at least $5 billion flow to dodgy, for-profit training providers with hundreds of thousands of students left with bad debts for courses they either didn't undertake or complete. Many of the courses were worthless anyway.
The Government’s own regulator, the Australian Skills Quality Authority, said parts of the Australian training market was in “a race to the bottom” and the Productivity Commission has described the Australian VET system as “a mess.”


Mr Mulheron said the ALP, if elected, would guarantee that at least two-thirds of all State and Federal funding will go to TAFE. As Treasurer, Scott Morrison handed down the 2018 Budget which cut $270 million from apprenticeships.

“When it comes to properly resourcing our TAFE system, if Morrison and Frydenberg think this is a fair go for young Australians seeking training, then it’s time for them to go.”

Media contact John Hill 0412 197 079