18 February 2022

The Liberals’ neglect of the skills sector has been entrenched for too long, with plummeting apprentice and trainee completions leaving too many businesses in Paterson short-staffed.

The number of people who complete their qualification should be the one of the most important tests of a government and its record on apprentices and trainees.

Under the former Labor Government, more than one million Australians completed their apprenticeships and traineeships in six years. Over the same period, the Coalition have struggled to see more than 500,000.

Here in Paterson, the local numbers reflect this story, with more than 7,684 completing their apprenticeship and traineeships under the former Labor Government, compared to just 4,297 completions the same time under the Coalition.

These numbers reflect a plummet of 44.08% of skilled workers across Paterson.

This is shocking and disappointing. No wonder there are so many businesses crying out for skilled and qualified workers. And there are so many young people who have missed out.

The Coalition is responsible for the skills crisis we are facing today, and band-aid solutions will not undo almost a decade of damage.

Every one of the fewer apprentices and trainees completing qualifications is a missed opportunity for nation, for our young people, and for our businesses.

The Coalition’s track record on vocational education and TAFE is another example of this Government waiting too long until something is at crisis point to fix.

Under Labor’s free TAFE policy, a Labor Government will tackle the skills crisis, fill the crippling skills gap left by the Coalition for those businesses and industries in crisis.

Labor is committed to investing in the jobs of the future whilst the Government is still trying to play catch up for the missing jobs of the past.