House debates

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Questions without Notice

Vocational Education and Training, Apprenticeships

2:11 pm

Photo of Tanya PlibersekTanya Plibersek (Sydney, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for Education and Training) Share this | | Hansard source

I am the oil on troubled waters, Mr Speaker. My question is to the Prime Minister. The Australian Industry Group warns our nation has a skills crisis, with 75 per cent of businesses struggling to find qualified Australians to fill jobs. So why has this government ripped $3 billion from TAFE and training and done nothing to stop the loss of 150,000 apprenticeships and traineeships?

Photo of Scott MorrisonScott Morrison (Cook, Liberal Party, Prime Minister) Share this | | Hansard source

Between 2011 and 2013, when the member for Sydney was sitting around a cabinet table, Labor cut employer incentives to businesses that employ apprentices nine times and that totalled some $1.2 billion. The member would be fully aware that TAFE is funded by state governments; it's not funded by the Commonwealth government. That's why last year I initiated a review, which was conducted by Steven Joyce. That review found that the funding and the spending that was going into skills education in this country, year in, year out, was not getting the results. The results they were not getting were that people weren't being trained with the skills that were needed by the employers who wanted to employ them. And that's because of the outdated funding model and the processes that had been put in place over many years and were run by the previous government. These are the things we need to fix, and this is what we intend to fix.

Ms Burney interjecting

Photo of Tony SmithTony Smith (Speaker) Share this | | Hansard source

The member for Barton will cease interjecting. The Prime Minister has indicated he's concluded his answer.