Sep 27, 2004

Fees for Howard’s new technical colleges


MEDIA RELEASE: Anthony Albanese – 27 September 2004

This morning on ABC Radio in Tasmania the Liberal candidate for Bass, Michael Ferguson let slip that the Government’s new technical colleges could be subject to fees.

Admitting that Coalition policies had done nothing to address youth unemployment in the region, Mr Ferguson would not deny that the Coalition’s new technical colleges would be charging fees now or in the future.

John Howard has only one policy when it comes to education and training – user pays, user pays, user pays.

Under John Howard the price of a growing number of university now cost $100,000 now he wants to put a career in the traditional trades out of the reach of most young Australians and their families.

Mr Ferguson’s comments mean that a user pays principle will underpin Mr Howard’s new ‘technical’ colleges.

This would mean that young people would have to pay significantly more to obtain a trade qualification than is currently the case.

For example: a Certificate III in Automotive (electrical) at a TAFE in Queensland costs a student about $430. Under Mr Howard’s user pay system the same qualification would cost $1060 – 146% more expensive.

Another example: a Certificate III in Construction Services Stream (General Plumbing) currently cost about $456. At full fee, the same qualification would cost $1,132.

No one is fooled by John Howard’s claim that there will be no fees – including his own candidate for Bass.