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Morrison government begins crusade to get more Aussie tradies

Anastasia Santoreneos
Morrison Government wants more Aussie tradies. Source: Getty
Morrison Government wants more Aussie tradies. Source: Getty

Prime Minister Scott Morrison is pushing his Vocational Education and Training (VET) mission once again, with Employment Minister Michaelia Cash leading the charge.

Earlier this year, research by the Department of Education found that almost half of all employers were finding it difficult to hire workers, with picky ‘job snobs’ to blame.

"We have an economy of opportunity and employers are screaming out for workers who are eager for a job," Minister Cash told The Australian.

Morrison’s mission to reform VET

Earlier this year, Morrison said “TAFE is as good as uni” and urged younger Aussies to consider a job in trade, rather than pursue university.

“We want to really lift the status of vocational education in Australia,” he said.

Cash has now announced that a VET committee has been established to “drive [the Morrison government’s] significant agenda of reform”.

“Our vision to create a strong VET sector is critical to our economy and to helping prepare Australians for the workforce of today and the future,” Cash said.

“The Morrison government is committed to creating more than 1.25 million jobs over the next five years and I’m confident that more and more of the people filling these positions will be coming to employers through the VET system.

“We are acutely aware of the workforce requirements in the Australian economy. Our reform agenda will deliver better outcomes for Australians who make the choice to pursue a VET pathway.

“A strong VET sector will support millions of Australians to obtain the skills they need to participate and prosper in the modern economy.”

The skills crisis

Earlier this month, shadow minister for education Tanya Plibersek highlighted the skills crisis in Australia and said the Coalition was to blame.

“We have seen billions of dollars cut from TAFE and training and this is leading to the extinction of the Australian tradie,” she said.

“We've got shortages in areas – hairdressing, pastry chefs, motor mechanics, electricians, carpenters, builders – shortages right across the skilled trades.

“We could be training those 1.8 million unemployed and underemployed Australians for those great jobs but Scott Morrison, on his watch, has turned his back on training those people and filling the skills shortages that businesses are complaining about.

“There should never be a time in Australia where skill shortages co-exist with unemployed and underemployed young people, particularly as we are cutting investment in training up those people.”

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