The forthcoming election is highlighting contrasting policies on skills and training as we noted in recent VDC News articles focused on coalition approaches reflected in the recent federal budget and labor policy.
As a recent TAFE Directors Australia newsletter noted, the Australian newspaper’s Higher Education section has taken a detailed look at some of the “stark differences” seen in policies for skills and training that the Coalition and Labor are taking to the federal election on May 21.
As the TDA article reports, “journalist Tim Dodd notes that the Coalition is promising to spend $3.7bn, over three times more than Labor, on building skills in the economy, with plans that are far more ambitious in their scope.”
However, Dodd notes that:
“By contrast Labor is offering $1.2bn over four years for its skills plan, which will make 465,000 TAFE student places free of fees, including 45,000 new places. But Labor’s commitment to vocational education is less than this because $482m of its $1.2bn promise will not go to TAFE, instead funding 20,000 new university student places.”
As Tim Dodd also says in his article,
“There is also a clear difference in philosophy between the two sides of politics. Labor is emphasising TAFE education, and qualifications such as certificates and diplomas, in areas where it sees skills gaps. Labor also promises to underpin the TAFE system by putting a ceiling on the amount of funding that will be “contestable” – that is, available on a competitive basis to all vocational education providers, both TAFE and private.”
Labor will also ensure that at least 70 per cent of Commonwealth vocational education funding is for public TAFE.
TAFE Director’s Australia chief executive Jenny Dodd says the group welcomes the fact that both parties are putting increased focus on the investment in skills – the first time in many years that VET has been the main focus of the education debate.
For the details see the Australian’s article entitled: ‘The Coalition and Labor have very different policies on skills and training’. Another perspective on the federal election is provided by VET commentator and expert Claire Field, and you can look at what she says here, why not join Claire in the upcoming VDC VET Chat on Wednesday 1 June, to chat and participate in an engaging, interactive session; register here!