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The de-skilling of South Australia

The Weatherill Government’s disastrous WorkReady program will deny young unemployed South Australians critical training to enhance their job prospects and deny current employees training to improve their workskills.

“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,” said Shadow Minister for Employment, Skills and Training David Pisoni.

“This disastrous decision to cut critical jobs training programs will further impede South Australia’s struggling economy, reducing investment and employment in this state.

“These cuts to training programs will also impact workplace safety as programs defined by industry as essential safety elements required by all workers on any construction will no longer be funded.

“The Weatherill Government’s plans will also result in substantial Federal Government investment in training facilities in South Australia being written off.

“In this instance the Federal Government has provided $8 million in funding to enable the Civil Contractors Federation to provide critical industry training – that money will now go down the gurgler.”

The Weatherill Government’s decision to exclude private RTO from new training positions follows Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) data released yesterday showing a drastic decline in the number of South Australians in jobs training in 2014, falling from 165,000 in 2013 to 129,000 last year.

“The number of students in vocational training in South Australia fell by 21.6 per cent in 2014 as the Weatherill Government took the axe to jobs training programs,” said Mr Pisoni.

“This massive fall in the number of people in jobs training programs in South Australia is a direct result of the Weatherill Government’s disastrous mismanagement of its failed Skills for All program.

“With the looming closure of Holden and its impact on the car component industry the Weatherill Government’s cuts to vocational training couldn’t come at a worse time for job seekers or the broader economy.

“Our young people will need better training to have a proper chance of success in a highly competitive jobs market.”