The Coalition’s neglect of the skills sector has been entrenched for too long, with plummeting apprentice and trainee completions leaving too many Australian businesses short-staffed.

The number of people who complete their qualification should be the one of the most important tests of a government and its record on apprentices and trainees.

Under the former Labor Government, more than one million Australians completed their apprenticeships and traineeships in six years. Over the same period, the Coalition have struggled to see more than 500,000.

The drop in the number of apprentice and trainee completions has left many businesses in the lurch, crying out for more skilled and qualified staff that don’t exist.

The statistics speak for themselves:

  • Every state has been impacted with NSW, Victoria and South Australia impacted with over 50 per cent fewer apprentices and trainees.
  • In some regions of the country, there is a more than 70 per cent decline, including in those electorates of Chisholm, Sydney and Higgins.
  • Declines of over 10,000 apprentice and trainee completions have been seen in the electorates of Melbourne (17,524), Adelaide (12,968) and Sydney (12,365).

The Coalition is responsible for the skills crisis we are facing today and band-aid solutions will not undo almost a decade of damage.

Every one of the 500,000 fewer apprentices and trainees completing qualifications is a missed opportunity for the nation after years of neglect the Liberals and Nationals.

The Coalition’s track record on vocational education and TAFE is another example of this Government waiting too long until something is at crisis point to fix.

The Coalition cannot be trusted when it comes to TAFE.

Under Labor’s free TAFE policy, a Labor Government will tackle the skills crisis, fill the crippling skills gap left by the Coalition for those businesses and industries in crisis.

Labor is committed to investing in the jobs of the future whilst the Government is still trying to play catch up for the missing jobs of the past.


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