The Labor spokeswoman for Gilmore Fiona Phillips wants TAFE funding restored urgently, saying TAFE student numbers have declined dramatically according to 2016 census figures.
The Eurobodalla had 762 students enrolled in vocational training at the time of the 2011 census but only 525 in 2016; a decline of over 30 per cent (three times the national average).
The decline for Mourya was more than 35 per cent.
Ms Phillips said the situation was set to deteriorate further.
“The Liberals cut a further $600 million from TAFE in the May budget, despite an increasing number of jobs requiring vocational skills,” she said.
“Labor will also invest in a $100 million Building TAFE for the Future Fund – to re-establish TAFE facilities in regional communities like Gilmore, meeting local community and industry needs.”
The member for Gilmore, Ann Sudmalis, said TAFE had always been funded by state governments, not the commonwealth.
“When last in federal government, Labor provided no specific funding for TAFE,” Ms Sudmalis said.
“In their last year in office, from June 2012 to June 2013 – while Bill Shorten was Employment Minister – Australia suffered its biggest ever annual decline in apprentice number, falling by 110,000.”
Ms Sudmalis said the Coalition announced a $1.5 billion Skilling Australians Fund in the recent budget and the move was welcomed by TAFE Directors Australia.
“TAFE is expected to have an important role in training many of the extra 300,000 apprentices it creates.”
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