Victoria Minister for Higher Education and Skills Peter Hall
Hall Rejects Rudd’s Last Grasp Policy To Centralise TAFEs
Victor P Taffa
Minister for Higher Education and Skills Peter Hall has accused the Federal Labor Party of gross hypocrisy in releasing its vocational education policy after ripping hundreds of millions out of training and apprenticeships.
Over the last twelve months, the Federal Labor Government has cut more than $1 Billion from programs to support apprentices ranging from a $450 Million cut to apprenticeship incentive programs to a $240 Million reduction in support for employers of apprentices.
The Federal Government delayed signing the National Partnership, withholding $43.5 Million by 15 months, and providing $60 Million less to Victoria than under the previous National Partnership.
This contrasts with the Victorian Coalition Government’s increase in funding for training, an extra $1 Billion over the period of 2012 to 2016.
“In the 2012/13 Budget, the Coalition Government increased subsidy rates for all apprentice programs and provided a record $1.2 Billion per year for training subsidies, $400 Million more per year than Labor in 2010.” Mr. Hall said.
“In Labor’s last year in office, TAFEs received $542 Million. In 2012 that figure increased by 19 % to $643 Million.”
In March the Coalition Government announced a further $200 Million injection into TAFEs.
“Our reforms have seen vocational education enrolments in Victoria grow by 22 % between 2011 and 2012 to be the highest rate in the country.” Mr. Hall said.
Importantly, enrolments in trades, apprenticeships and skill shortage areas have grown to represent 65 % of all training.
Prime Minister Rudd’s last ditch campaign launch also disregards non-TAFE students studying at private and adult and community education providers, who make up over half of vocational delivery across Victoria.
“The Federal Labor Government has obviously not considered the structure and needs of our training system.” Mr. Hall said.
“In Victoria, private and public providers are now delivering government subsidised training in almost equal numbers and quality in both sectors is exceptionally high.”