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Weatherill’s skills training debacle continues

The latest Commonwealth Government data provides further evidence of the Weatherill Government’s entrenched jobs malaise and its failure to prepare for South Australia’s economic transition.

The National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) latest figures reveal that in the first nine months of 2016 Government-funded students in training decreased by 19.8 per cent compared with the first nine months of the previous year.

“This is the biggest drop of any state or territory and is a direct result of Labor’s cuts of 35 per cent to the skills budget since Labor was returned to power in 2014,” said Shadow Minister for Skills and Training David Pisoni.

“With $50 billion in naval shipbuilding contracts awarded to South Australia by the Federal Government shaping up to be a major source of future jobs, the Weatherill Government needs to support a transition to new skills to ensure that South Australians are in the box seat to take advantage of this new era for the State.

“As South Australia suffers the highest unemployment in the nation it is vital that people are preparing for any new opportunities that come their way.

“Weatherill Labor’s vocational training cuts are leaving our job seekers standing by as skilled labour from elsewhere fills the void.”

The State Liberals have previously called on the State Government to establish a Naval Shipbuilding Skills Taskforce to plan and effectively align our skills training and workforce to future employment needs in this important and growing industry sector.

“These latest training figures tell us time is running out.

“The number of apprentices and trainees undertaking government funded off-the-job training in South Australia is the lowest of all mainland states, and on raw numbers only, slightly better than Tasmania – a state with less than a third of our population.

“Labor cut dozens of training providers out of funding opportunities while increasing the bonuses for TAFE executives – unfortunately, after promising to ‘keep building South Australia’, Jay Weatherill seems content to skimp on best preparing South Australians for new job and industry opportunities that come our way.”