Shadow Minister for TAFE, University and Skills, Michelle O’Byrne MP has expressed her concerns over the apparent drop in student enrolment numbers for TAFE.
Michelle O’Byrne has called for a rethink on skills and training, suggesting that the Liberal government should adopt Labor’s Free TAFE policy which would offer free TAFE courses in the building and construction, hospitality, aged care and disability services sectors.
“The 2019-20 TasTAFE annual report shows student numbers in 2019 – before COVID-19 hit – were down to 21,189,” Ms O’Byrne said.
“That’s a drop of seven per cent on the previous year and a massive 27 per cent fall since the Liberals came to power in 2014.”
Ms O’Byrne has proposed that the whole system needs to be rebuilt and provide courses that meet the needs of businesses, meaning that Tasmanians will have the necessary skills and knowledge required to get a job.
“The Liberals have promised to build Tasmania out of recession, but the building and construction sector is already experiencing critical skills shortages while people are desperately looking for jobs.” Ms O’Byrne said
“More than 20,000 Tasmanians lost their jobs at the height of the pandemic and, sadly, around 11,000 people remain out of work, with young people particularly hard hit.”
“As Labor’s COVID-19 Recovery Package points out, we need to buy local, build local and employ local and, by making TAFE courses more meaningful and accessible we can give businesses the support they need to recover and help Tasmanians get back to work.”