RICHARD MARLES MP
MARK BUTLER MP
National TAFE Day is an important opportunity to celebrate our national TAFE system and all the training they support to critical sectors across Australia.
And yet, on a day we celebrate the importance of TAFE, we are also learning of the cruel impacts which the Government’s cuts and neglect to this sector have had on key industries and workforces.
Yesterday we learnt of the critical workforce shortage the aged care sector is expected to face in coming years – more than 110,000 in the next decade.
In fact, the CEDA Chief Economist Jarrod Ball said, that we “will need at least 17,000 more direct aged-care workers each year in the next decade just to meet basic standards of care”.
But the numbers released today reveal the Government has overseen significant cuts to workforce training enrolments, impacting the sector right now, with those seeking to train in this industry going backwards.
The National Centre for Vocational Education Research reveals that since the Government came to office, there are over 4,000 fewer Health and Welfare Support Workers and over 3,000 fewer Aged and Disability Carers.
This is a cut to those coming through the skilled workforce of more than 7,000.
This is a workforce the country has relied upon at the frontline during the pandemic.
These workers are exhausted, overstretched and under resourced to their limit.
But as the harrowing Royal Commission made clear, they lack the resources they need to take care of older Australians.
It is to state the obvious that we need more highly skilled carers and support staff in this sector, not fewer. And yet, this is exactly what Scott Morrison and his Government have presided over during their time in office.
With a cut of $3 billion to the VET sector, we have lost thousands of skilled workers who would otherwise be fully trained or in the pipeline.
After neglecting the VET sector for so long, we are starting to see the very real impact which these cuts are having on critical sectors.