The Weatherill Government’s disastrous decision to exclude private jobs training organisations from state government funding will severely diminish the chances of retrenched automotive industry employees finding work in the construction industry.
“As a consequence of the Weatherill Government’s decision ex-Holden employees will have virtually no chance of securing work on the $10 billion upgrade of South Road,” said Shadow Minister for Employment, Skills and Training David Pisoni.
“From July 1st there will be practically no courses for workers wanting to do entry-level skills training to the construction industry in South Australia.
“The Weatherill Government is driving the private training organisations out of business and TAFE SA has no capacity to fill the training void this will create.
“Without entry level skills training for construction workers in South Australia people lacking qualifications will have no hope of securing employment on large scale infrastructure projects.
“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.
“The Weatherill Government has rightly made much of the need to ensure retrenched automotive industry employees get the necessary training to have access to alternative forms of employment.
“Yet by its decision to close down the training courses for the construction industry the Weatherill Government is locking retrenched automotive sector workers out of working on the north-south corridor.
“Of course the impacts of this ill-considered policy will go much further than automotive industry employees.
“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.
“Concentrating vocational training places in the much more expensive TAFE SA courses will greatly reduce the number of training places available for young people.
“With the highest unemployment on the mainland, South Australia can’t afford to narrow the pathways to employment.”