The Australian Federal Labor has committed its support to Australia’s not-for-profit community education sector. In a policy statement on 11 May 2017, following the Commonwealth Budget earlier that week, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, Shadow Vocational Education Minister Kate Ellis, and Shadow Skills and Apprentices Minister Doug Cameron issued a response that states:
“Labor will also ensure that quality providers, particularly in the not-for-profit and community education sector are supported.”
“Community Colleges Australia is most pleased that the Federal Opposition has made a clear statement of support for the not-for-profit and community education sector,” said Dr Don Perlgut, CEO.
“Our sector has a sterling record of quality delivery of skills training to the most disadvantaged and vulnerable Australians,” Dr Perlgut said.
“For some time, Community Colleges Australia has pointed out to the Opposition Leader Shorten and Shadow Minister Ellis that their comprehensive policies on TAFE need to be accompanied by clear statements of support for the community VET sector. We are most pleased that Federal Labor has responded in this way,” Dr Perlgut said.
In addition to the statement on community education, the Labor statement promises to invest in TAFE and apprenticeships by:
- Investing an additional $637.6 million into TAFE and vocational education.
- Guaranteeing at least two thirds of public vocational education funding for TAFE.
- Investing in a new $100 million Building TAFE for the Future Fund – to re-establish TAFE facilities in regional communities, meet local industry needs and support teaching for the digital economy.
- Setting a target of one in ten apprentices on all Commonwealth priority projects and major Government Business Enterprise projects.
- Investing in pre-apprentice programs – preparing up to 10,000 young jobseekers to start an apprenticeship.
- Establishing an Advanced Entry Adult Apprenticeships program – to fast-track apprenticeships for up to 20,000 people facing redundancy or whose jobs have been lost