Oct 3, 2019

Media Release – Government Must Act On Skills Crisis – Thursday, 3 October 2019

The number of people undertaking apprenticeships and traineeships in Townsville collapsed by more than 1,500 in the first six years of this Liberal National Government.

This is holding back investment and construction on key projects, and denying young people the opportunity to get a job near their home.

The Government’s failure to invest in Australian skills saw apprenticeships and traineeships in Townsville plunge by 44.7 per cent between late 2013 and the end of 2018.

In Cairns and Far North Queensland, apprenticeships and traineeships dropped 34 per cent, or 988 places.

Over the same period, the Government issued more than half a million temporary visas to skilled workers from overseas.

This lack of investment in skills and training is now threatening to hinder the Queensland Labor Government’s infrastructure investments in North Queensland.

In Townsville, the local hospitality industry is screaming out for qualified chefs while employers in construction, agriculture and tourism also need qualified staff.

Mums and dads are deeply concerned their children will not be able to find training and a job near where they live and be forced to move to a big city.

Scott Morrison has gutted TAFE and watched as apprentice and trainee numbers have fallen off a cliff. The Liberals have caused a skills crisis and now they are trying to blame young people for not choosing a trade.

Instead of attacking young workers, they should fix the problem.

This latest attack on young workers follows the Government’s slashing of TAFE funding, cutting of penalty rates and creating $4 an hour PaTH internships.

Nationally there are 150,000 fewer apprenticeships and traineeships underway now than when the Liberal National Government took office.

Scott Morrison must start investing in training young Australians to give them the skills they require to secure good jobs and fulfilling careers.