Standing up for Canberra

We are in a Skills Shortage Crisis

Canberra has a serious skills shortage crisis. Under the Abbott-Turnbull government the number of trainees and apprentices in Canberra has plummeted by 49 per cent—a cut in apprenticeships and traineeships of nearly 50 per cent. 

In case that figure doesn't resonate with those opposite, I encourage them to ask a Canberran who has called a plumber on the weekend, to discuss with them what it's like, and the shock they received.

We're short on bricklayers, early childcare teachers, hairdressers, locksmiths, mechanics. Local businesses cannot fill these positions, even though they try.

Instead of investing in skills and vocational education to fix this crisis, the Turnbull Government ripped away $270 million funding in the 2018 budget. Not a cent of the $1.5 billion commitment to apprenticeships and TAFEs in last year's budget has been spent.

This government preached jobs and growth. That's all we heard. Investing in education—primary, secondary, vocational and tertiary—is absolutely vital to economic growth and quality jobs.

What part of that equation does the Turnbull government—and did the Abbott government—not understand? (Time expired)