Students and training providers failed by Labor

Victorians looking to reskill or upskill to boost their career opportunities to secure a better future for themselves and their family are being held back by Victoria’s under-resourced and under-performing TAFE sector.

This year’s State Budget, handed down last week, has revealed the training sector is failing those who the government itself says will most benefit from further learning, including women seeking to return to the workplace, Indigenous Victorians, people with a disability and people who are currently unemployed.

Efforts to hide the problems show the extent of the Labor Government’s neglect.

The Liberal Nationals believe more Victorians should be able to access the training, and develop the skills, they need.

Earlier this year the Minister for Training and Skills bragged there had been “an absolute turnaround in the number of enrolments”.

But enrolments in training courses are being slashed, as they were well before COVID.

Since 2016, the number of enrolments in government-subsidised training courses has plummeted by over 92,000. There have been particularly savage reductions to training enrolments in regional Victoria. Since 2018 enrolments in country Victoria have fallen by a massive 16,138 places.

Of course, many thousands of international students are also currently unable to access Victoria’s world-leading universities. These students support 80,000 Victorian jobs. Yet the Labor Government, unlike the Liberal Nationals Government in New South Wales, has no plan for their COVID-Safe return.

Labor’s incompetence and mismanagement is hitting Victoria’s 12 TAFEs particularly hard – they previously recorded a massive $116 million deficit due to the Government’s botched funding model. Five TAFEs – which reported a deficit in 2020 – are still reliant on emergency funding to operate basic functions. They urgently need funding certainty.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Training and Skills Matt Bach

“It's time to expose the Labor Government’s spin and lies about the state of Victorian TAFEs. They are being sent to the financial wall, with plummeting enrolments."

“As a result of Labor’s mismanagement, the students who most need training and skills are unable to gain access and – therefore - jobs.

“We are no longer in a COVID crisis and the Andrews Labor Government has had enough time to plan for our recovery.

“But Dan has no plan and it’s putting the economic recovery that Victorians have worked so hard to earn, at risk.”

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