Mary Wooldridge MP

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Labor hides report as training system haemorrhages students

Friday, May 10, 2019

The Labor Government’s belated release of the Training Market snapshot for 2017 shows a sector genuinely struggling as the government attempts to paper over the cracks.

The report was surreptitiously uploaded to the Department’s website a year past its regular reporting date and is a mere 8 pages long. The same report in 2015 was 153 pages of detailed information on the performance of the sector, raising the question, what is Labor trying to hide by so aggressively censoring this latest report?

Over the two year period to 2017, 85,561 fewer students enrolled in VET, a 23% decline. 

This concerningly also represents the largest national decline in participation rates, with a reduction of over 2% to 7.3% participation of working age Victorians in training.

Minister Gayle Tierney told the Public Accounts and Estimates Committee in 2017 that Labor had “arrested the decline” in student numbers. 

This Government report shows very clearly that students continue to desert the system. 

Particularly concerning is the drop in enrolments in training in NDIS related areas (33%) and family violence (19%). These are key sectors with strong employment growth and a need for skilled workers. Not only are these lost opportunities for future employment for Victorians, but they represent a failure of the government to provide skilled practitioners in key community service areas protecting the most vulnerable Victorians. 

This Government asserts that enrolments are down because they are improving the quality of training, yet the Productivity Commission shows employers satisfied with VET training of their employees has dropped, with less than 70% of employers satisfied, a decline of 2.6 per cent from 2015 to 2017. For training highly connected to jobs, the decline in employer satisfaction in apprenticeships or traineeships has dropped 8.7 per cent over the same period. 

It’s no wonder that Daniel Andrews has sought to hide this report. 

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Training and Skills, Mary Wooldridge:

“We are experiencing significant employment demand in Victoria, yet this government is presiding over a VET sector that is haemorrhaging students.” 

“With fewer enrolments, less satisfied employers and fewer skilled workers, Daniel Andrews’ VET is failing to meet the needs of students or industry.” 

“Not only are fewer students being trained, but the Labor Government’s excuse of higher quality training is not represented in the industry feedback.” 

“Daniel Andrews has clearly delayed the release and cut this report to the bone so Victorians can’t see his failure to deliver the VET system this State needs.”

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