The jobs of hundreds of South Australians employed by private vocational training providers will begin to disappear from today as the Weatherill Government cuts funding to the sector to a trickle.
“In a cruel twist of fate people delivering successful jobs training for thousands of South Australians will be forced onto the dole by the Weatherill Government’s savage cuts to the private training sector,” said Shadow Minister for Employment, Skills and Training.
“Today is the final day of enrolment for hundreds of subsidised courses run by industry connected private training providers who employ hundreds of South Australians.
“The Weatherill Government’s disastrous decision to cut funding to private vocational training providers will extract a heavy human toll – businesses will close and jobs will be lost with all the attendant misery that produces.
“Employment, Higher Education and Skills Minister Gail Gago has said she realises this is a difficult time: disastrous would be a better description for the people set to lose their income.
“This decision will also damage the long term employment prospects of thousands of South Australians hoping to improve their chances of getting a job by improving their work skills.
“The Weatherill Government is in the process of de-skilling the South Australian workforce at the very moment the South Australian economy faces its greatest challenge in decades.
“This disastrous decision to cut critical jobs training programs will further impede South Australia’s struggling economy, reducing investment and employment in this state.
“At present private vocational training providers deliver about 46% of the subsidised training places in South Australia with TAFE SA responsible for the remaining 54%.
“Under the new WorkReady scheme the Weatherill Government will allocate more than 90 per cent of the new subsidised training places to TAFE SA.
“This is despite the fact the Minister Gago has admitted vocational training in South Australia found courses run by TAFE SA are 2.5 times more expensive that private RTOs. The Weatherill Government is driving private providers out of business despite the fact they save taxpayers enormous amounts of money.”
The State Liberals are calling for the Weatherill Government to scrap planned funding changes to vocational training under the WorkReady program in South Australia and start again.