National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) data released yesterday shows 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 Shadow Minister for Employment, Skills and Training David Pisoni.
“These alarming figures come as private training providers hit out at planned changes that will further reduce range of vocational training available and drive many of them out of business.
“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.
“The savage reduction job training courses is going to continue as a result of the Weatherill Government’s decision to preclude private training providers from competing with TAFE.
“With the looming closure of Holdens 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.
The State Liberals are calling for the Weatherill Government to scrap planned funding changes to vocational training under the WorkReady program in South Australia and start again.
“A recent ACIL Allen evaluation of vocational training in South Australia found courses run by TAFE SA were approximately 2.5 times higher than private RTOs.
“At present private vocational training providers deliver about 46% of the subsidised training places in South Australia with TAFE SA responsible for the remaining 54%.
“Under the new WorkReady scheme the Weatherill Government will allocate more than 90 per cent of the new subsidised training places to TAFE SA
“The Weatherill Government’s funding restrictions will drive private RTOs to the wall, costing jobs and reducing the quality and quantity of vocational training in South Australia,” said Mr David Pisoni.