Malcolm Turnbull made a choice this election, and he did not choose the education and training needs of Dunkley residents.

Only a Shorten Labor Government will be able to deliver the high-quality education and training that Dunkley needs.

Under the Turnbull Liberal Government, we have seen a $2.75 billion cut from the Skills portfolio, including $1 billion in cuts to apprentices.

This means a 25 per cent reduction in funding – and the loss of more than 500 apprentices in Dunkley alone under the Liberals’ watch.

The Liberals’ plans for university cuts and deregulation will see Monash University’s budget cut by more than $300 million and students hit with $100,000 degrees.

Under the Liberals, the cost of the VET FEE-HELP loans scheme has soared from $699 million in 2013 to $1.7 billion in 2014 – and is expected to hit $3 billion for 2015.

At the same time, students in Dunkley have been ripped off by unscrupulous colleges and dodgy providers - and taxpayers are being forced to pick up the tab.

In some colleges, it is costing taxpayers more than $1 million in VET FEE-HELP loans to produce a single graduate.

Labor has announced a full, evidence-based review of the vocational education and training system in order to build a stronger sector and weed out dodgy providers and student rip-offs.

A Shorten Labor Government will also introduce a loan cap of $8,000 a year in the VET FEE-HELP program as part of an integrity package to stop the huge waste of taxpayers’ money, to prevent price gouging of students and to improve training.

Labor has also committed to a funding guarantee for TAFE, a comprehensive review into the role and function of the vocational education and training system and a VET ombudsman.

Labor's National Priority Plan for TAFE places it squarely as the public provider within the VET sector and ensures TAFE’s viability and strength.

In addition, our positive plan for Australian universities will:

  • Introduce a new Student Funding Guarantee, which will deliver $2,500 more per student than the Liberals, and remove the need for higher fees and a lifetime of debt.
  • Increase the number of students completing their study by 20,000 graduates a year from 2020.
  • Invest $31 million in the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency to boost the quality of teaching and resources in our universities.
  • Establish an independent Higher Education Productivity and Performance Commission to ensure graduates meet the needs of the future economy.
  • Offer a Startup Year at university to young Australians looking to start their own enterprise.
  • Boost the number of young Australians taking up science, technology, engineering and mathematics courses at university, as well as offering 25,000 Teach STEM Scholarships and upskilling 25,000 teachers.
  • Introduce a Higher Education Access and Growth Strategy for low-income students, students from rural and regional areas, Indigenous students, first generation migrants, students with disabilities and other disadvantaged students.
  • Provide more information for parents and students so they can make good decisions about university.


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