The Turnbull Government will create an extra 60,000 apprentices and trainees in Queensland over the next four years through a record funding deal announced in last year’s Budget.
Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills, Karen Andrews, said claims today from the Queensland Minister Shannon Fentiman are woefully misleading.
“Queensland will be a key beneficiary of our $1.5 billion Skilling Australians Fund that will create an extra 300,000 apprentices and trainees across the country,” Assistant Minister Andrews said.
“It would appear Ms Fentiman is still yet to read the latest briefings in her new portfolio that show the Federal Government’s increased funding commitment to support apprentice and trainee growth in Queensland.
“Instead of making false accusations about Commonwealth funding, the Minister needs to look in her own backyard after the Queensland Government cut its own spending on vocational education and training by $141 million from 2012 to 2016” Assistant Minister Andrews said.
“It was the previous Labor Government that cut employer incentives nine times totalling $1.2 billion that led to a dramatic decline in apprentice numbers.
“The Turnbull Government continues to deliver policies to support apprentices and trainees, including the Australian Apprenticeship Support Network, Trade Support Loans and just last week the Industry Specialist Mentoring Program for apprentices was launched on the Gold Coast.
“We are ready and willing to work with the Queensland Government through our Skilling Australians Fund to provide the skilled workforce many of the state’s industries need to continue their growth, including tourism, hospitality, construction and health and aged care.
“Skills shortages are a significant issue facing Queensland that the Turnbull Government is committed to addressing and I call on Ms Fentiman to work with us to help build a better future for Queensland, “Assistant Minister Andrews said.
“The Skilling Australians Fund re-engineers the partnership between states and the Commonwealth to ensure better outcomes in skills training.”