Shepparton students at risk from Labor’s VET cuts
22 September 2015
Tuesday 22 September 2015
School-based vocational education and training (VET) across Shepparton is in jeopardy as a result of funding cuts by the Andrews Labor Government.
In Shepparton today Deputy Leader of The Nationals and Shadow Minister for Training, Skills and Apprenticeships Steph Ryan said Daniel Andrews had axed funding for Shepparton’s workplace learning coordinator.
“Shepparton’s local coordinator helps more than 600 students undertaking training at schools, TAFE’s or registered providers to find work placements each year,” Ms Ryan said.
“This ensures students are job-ready and connected with local industries that need skilled workers.
“Since Labor came to government youth unemployment across the Hume region has risen at an alarming rate of 6.2 per cent to 19.4 per cent, while in Shepparton it is sitting at 15.4 per cent.
“Labor’s decision to axe this practical support just doesn’t make sense when young people in our region are finding it so hard to find work.”
The workplace learning coordinator is tasked with assisting students from schools right across Shepparton to find work placement, including Shepparton High, McGuire College, Mooroopna Secondary, Notre Dame and Berry Street.
Ms Ryan said she was particularly concerned that students who were disadvantaged or at risk would fall through the gaps.
“Disengaged students are less likely to have knowledge about employment or an understanding about pathways available,” Ms Ryan said.
“Many do not have a cultural understanding about what is expected or acceptable in the workplace and are likely to fall through the gaps because schools do not have the time or resources to arrange placements.”
Ms Ryan said the Liberal-Nationals Government provided $5.1 million to fund the work of these coordinators across the state but Daniel Andrews has refused to continue funding for them.
“The reality is that teachers and employers do not have the time or the resources to pick up the extra work of these coordinators if their funding is cut,” Ms Ryan said.
An evaluation found work experience participants were 75 per cent more likely to pursue further training or go on to secure employment than those who had not taken part.