Labor Senator Helen Polley has called on Liberal Bass MP Andrew Nikolic to come clean on the Abbott Government’s record on support for vocational education and training.
Yesterday, Mr Nikolic declared that providing quality vocational education and trade pathways was just as important as attaining a tertiary education. But he neglected to mention that his government has been responsible for tearing up programs designed to benefit those keen on pursuing such pathways.
“Here we go again, the Pinocchio of Australian politics Andrew Nikolic has misled the people of Bass once more. I would like to remind Mr Nikolic that it was his government that cancelled the nearly $1 billion Tools for Your Trade program, leaving many apprentices feeling betrayed and out of pocket,” Senator Polley said.
“He may also need reminding that it was his government that axed the Apprenticeship Access Program and the Apprenticeship Mentoring Program. By doing so, the Abbott Government basically abandoned vulnerable job seekers trying to enter skilled employment with recognised pre-vocational training, support and assistance.
“Overall, the Abbott Government is responsible for slashing over $2 billion in investment and skills and training by abolishing programs including the National Workforce Development Fund, the Accelerated Apprenticeships Programme, the Apprenticeship to Business Owner Programme, the National Partnership Agreement on Training Places for Single Parents just to name a few. The list goes on and on!”
Senator Polley said that Mr Nikolic’s stance was unsurprising given his record of taking credit for Labor’s achievements.
“Here we have Mr Nikolic at St Patrick’s College telling the world how marvellous it is that his government is committed to improving vocational education and trade pathways.
“It was actually Labor that put in place real support to help young people get an apprenticeship and find work, it is Mr Nikolic’s Government that is ripping these support structures away. He should be ashamed of himself.”