FEDERAL Member for New England , Barnaby Joyce said 85 per cent of the Abbott Government’s promised 136 Trades Skills Centres are either complete, under construction or ‘shovel ready’.
These new centres have a renewed focus on linking skills education to workplace demands.
Mr Joyce said the Abbott Government is committed to trade training that equips students with in-demand skills, such as carpentry, motor mechanics and cooking.
Mr Joyce said the New England will benefit from a new and reformed Trade Skills Centres at Barraba, Guyra and Inverell, which have had their funding approved.
The Rural Trades Skills Centre to be based at Barraba Central School will benefit from actual funding of $985,000 and will host a Certificate I Agrifood Operations course as well as a Certificate II in Agriculture and Horticulture, a Certificate II in Shearing and a Pre-Vocational Agriculture course.
The Barraba Trades Skills Centre includes the construction of a new primary industries facility and also the provision of equipment. It will deliver qualifications in agriculture and horticulture to address skills shortages in agriculture and horticulture and in the trade of shearer.
Guyra Central School will host the Guyra Community Trades Skills Centre, offering a Certificate I Engineering course with funding of $834,088. The Trades Skills Centre includes the construction of a new purpose built facility to incorporate an engineering workshop and also the provision of equipment. It will deliver qualifications in engineering to address skills shortages in the trades of fitter and turner and welder (first class).
In Inverell the Macintyre High School and the Holy Trinity School will share the Sapphire Community Primary Industry Trades Skills Centre offering a Certificate II in Agriculture. It will receive $661,000 in federal government funding.
The Sapphire Community Primary Industry Trades Skills Centre includes the construction of a new learning and training facility to include a theory room, amenities, storage and the provision of open access on 13.99ha of agricultural land and also the provision of equipment. It will deliver qualifications in agriculture to address skills shortages.
Mr Joyce said both the Australian National Audit Office (2011) and the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (2012) criticised Labor for its short-sighted approach to TTCs and its single-minded focus on infrastructure, to the detriment of the quality of training that would be delivered.
In July this year, the Abbott Government announced an independent review into Labor’s TTCs to respond to the widespread criticism.
“Students should be given the opportunity to learn trades that are in demand and that meet the needs of employers,” Mr Joyce said. “This Government is putting students first.”
Mr Joyce said Opposition Education Spokesperson Kate Ellis has continued the legacy of her Labor colleagues, misleading parents and re-writing the history of Labor’s TTC programme.
“The Labor government promised 2650 TTCs, but by the time they were dumped from office, only 306 had been delivered. Those numbers just don’t add up,” Mr Joyce said.
“Despite Kate Ellis’ fear mongering, this Government has not scrapped any promised Trades Training Centres and will fulfil all contracts.”