The decision by TAFE SA to cut its Certificate lll Jewellery Manufacturing course despite being the sole provider under the Weatherill Government’s WorkReady program will hurt the local jewellery industry and cut jobs for young South Australians.
"With South Australia in the grips of a jobs crisis it is beyond belief that jobs will go begging because TAFE won’t deliver the necessary training it is funded for and won’t allow the private sector to do it for them," said Shadow Minister for Employment, Skills and Training, David Pisoni.
"The Minister needs to direct TAFE SA to negotiate with the industry to deliver this training.
"The Weatherill Government also needs to conduct a complete review of funding changes to vocational training under the WorkReady program in South Australia and restore balance to the funding arrangements.
"Our young people will need better training to have a proper chance of success in a highly competitive jobs market, not locked out of training that guarantees jobs in the jewellery industry by ridiculous government policies.
"An ACIL Allen evaluation of vocational training in South Australia found courses run by TAFE SA were approximately 2.5 times higher than private RTOs.
"Before WorkReady private vocational training providers delivered about 46 per cent of the subsidised training places in South Australia with TAFE SA responsible for the remaining 54 per cent.
"Under the WorkReady scheme the Weatherill Government allocated more than 90 per cent of the new subsidised training places to TAFE SA.
"The Weatherill Government’s funding restrictions is driving private RTOs to the wall, costing jobs and reducing the quality and quantity of vocational training in South Australia.
"This comes after 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.
"The savage reduction in job training courses is continuing 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."