Time for a backflip on training debacle

The State Liberals are demanding Minister for Training Gail Gago reverse her disastrous decision to axe funding to non-government vocational trainers before she does irreparable damage to the industry and skills training in South Australia.

“Minister Gago needs to recognise she’s made a woeful decision and move quickly to restore funding to the non-government vocational training sector before people start losing their jobs unnecessarily,” said Shadow Minister for Training David Pisoni.

“Hundreds of jobs in the non-government training sector are on the line right now and that number will grow as the long-term impact of this disastrous decision reverberates through South Australia’s jobs market.

“This is one of the worst government decisions I’ve seen in a very long time and if Minister Gago doesn’t understand this will decimate the vital non-government jobs sector she is unfit to be in Cabinet.

“I’d expect even a Labor Minister to recognise the importance of the non-government training sector to South Australia’s economic future.

“There has already been a massive fall in the number of students in jobs training as a result of the Weatherill Government’s disastrous mismanagement of its failed Skills for All program.

National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) data 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.

“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 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.