AN overhaul of the vocational training system will occur if Labor wins the upcoming federal election.
TRAINING ISSUES: Federal Bass Labor candidate Ross Hart discusses vocational training issues with Opposition employment spokesman Brendan O’Connor and Labor Senator Helen Polley. Picture: Phillip Biggs.
Skills, training and employment spokesman Brendan O’Connor visited Launceston on Tuesday, saying that the review would constitute a completion of unfinished business for the party which had conducted the Gonski and Bradley reviews while in power.
The Gonski Review looked at funding provided to schools while the Bradley Review focussed on higher education.
He said vocational training at the moment was not servicing students and potential employers as well as it should.
“We have, for example, too many providers that are not of a sufficient standard, and we have too much money invested in areas where there is no emerging demand in the labour market,” Mr O’Connor said.
“We’ve effectively got a system where the training centres are not talking to the labour market.
“There has to be a much greater connection between emerging areas of growth in the labour market with vocational training so people are very aware that when they undertake courses, they’ve of a sufficient standard and accreditation(and) that they will provide a greater opportunity to find work.
“Too many people are right now churning through courses without any chance of employment. That’s got to stop.”
Federal Bass Labor candidate RossHart said strong links between industry and other areas of the Northern labour market had been there in the past.
“In my discussions with local industry, they’d like to see that resurrected,” he said.
Senator Helen Polley said there were opportunities within aged carefor young people in the North with the sector requiring 5000 extra workers in the next five years.
Mr O’Connor said he expected changes to penalty rates to dominate amongstelectionissues for people in regional areas.
Both the federal government and opposition have made submissions to theFair Work Commission into itspenalty rates reviewforseven retail and hospitalityawards.
It will assess demands tobring Sunday rates down to Saturday levels.
Mr O’Connor believed that penalty rate cuts would move into other sectors such as health if retail and hospitality workers received reductions.
Mr Hart said cuts to weekend rates would not only hurt workers but Launceston’s business communitythroughreduceddisposable income.
He said there were a disportionate number of people in Basson low wages.
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