Canberra underspends on training while training numbers tank

One of the reasons for the collapse in vocational training numbers and an associated shortage of skills has been revealed – the government is failing to spend its allocated training budgets.

Falls in VET training, documented by National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) and reported extensively in @AuManufacturing news, have been continuous for the past five years.

In the latest year NCVER reported a fall in full-year training equivalents (FYTEs) of 6.3 per cent to 1.1 million, with the rot starting in schools where STEM education is faltering and continuing to apprentice starts and completions.

Now it has been revealed that in those five years Canberra underspent its budgeted allocation for vocational training by close to $1 billion, according to a report in Channel 9 media.

The under-spending was worth $209 million in 2018-19, $204 million in 2017-18, $117 million in 2016-17, $249 million in 2015-16 and $139 million in 2014-15.

Labor’s education and training spokeswoman Tanya Plibersek said: “Is it any wonder that under Scott Morrison our TAFEs are in disrepair and apprentice and trainee numbers have fallen off a cliff? .

“If the Liberals don’t do something serious to fix the skills crisis they have created, we could be looking at the extinction of the Australian tradie.”

The shortfall in funding is similar to shortfalls in other areas of government spending, with shortfalls on the National Disability Insurance Scheme and infrastructure spending also revealed in recent days.

However Employment and Skills Minister Michaelia Cash dismissed Labor’s criticism.

Such a denial flies in the face of facts reported in @AuManufacturing.

Vocational training is in freefall.

Along with blunt denials one recent appointment, that of The Block’s Scott Cam as careers ambassador, suggests that show business promotion has replaced actual performance when it comes to vocational education.

– Peter Roberts

Picture: Bustech

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