Labor's $2.5 billion Trades Training Centres in Schools Plan

Labor’s 10-year $2.5 billion Trades Training Centres in Schools Plan will see new trade centres built in all high schools in Calwell.


“Under Labor’s new plan, every high school in Calwell will be provided with the resources and equipment they need to build or upgrade trade workshops, Information, Communications and Technology labs and other facilities” Ms Vamvakinou said.

“Labor’s intention is to provide real career paths in trades and apprenticeships for young people in Australia, including those who live in Calwell.”

“This is about helping local students find the skills that suit them the best, skills that could lead to a career in a trade if they choose not to go to university” Ms Vamvakinou said.

“Students at our local schools will be given the best possible opportunity to develop the skills they need to help set them up for the future.”

“Labor’s Trades Training Centres in Schools Plan will also help address Australia’s worsening skills crisis, which is holding many local firms and small businesses back” Ms Vamvakinou said.

“There are around one million Australian students in Years 9, 10, 11 and 12 in Government, Catholic and Independent Secondary schools, who could benefit from Federal Labor’s Trades Training Centres in Schools Plan.”

Labor’s Trades Training Centres in Schools Plan would provide resources and equipment to build or upgrade trade workshops, Information, Communications and Technology labs and other facilities such as:

o Metal or woodwork workshops; o Commercial kitchens; o Hairdressing facilities; o Automotive workshop; o Plumbing workshop; o Graphic Design laboratories; o Computer Laboratories; and o Other technical facilities.

The program will also fund the purchase or replacement of a range of equipment such as:

o Safety equipment; o Soldering and Welding equipment; o Ovens; o Wood and Metal turning Lathes; o Grinders and Drills.

“As a country, we need a long term plan to lock in Australia’s economic prosperity once the resources boom is over. We need policies that offer a long term vision for Australia” Ms Vamvakinou said.

“Labor understands that investing in education, skills and training is both an investment in our children’s future and an investment in the future prosperity of Australia”

“After a decade of under-investment and neglect by the Howard government, it is Labor that put education back on the national agenda and front and centre of public debate, not John Howard.”

“Labor’s Education Revolution is about investing in Australia’s education system at all levels. It includes Labor’s commitment to provide 15 hours of pre-school education to all 4 year olds in Australia, through to Labor’s commitment to halve HECS fees for students studying maths and science at university” Ms Vamvakinou said.

“When it comes to Australia’s education system, you need a long term vision, not piecemeal policies wrapped in a mother of pearl coating, and you need reforms across all levels of education, from pre-school learning through to tertiary education.”

“People can see that the Howard government is desperately playing catch up. Last week's budget announcements on education were all about the Howard government making policies on the run for short term political gain."

"John Howard has had eleven years to prove to the Australian public that he is committed to raising education standards in Australia. But instead, Australia’s education system has been hit by chronic under-funding and neglect under John Howard.”

Additional Information:

After 11 years of John Howard:

Australia has fallen to last place among OECD countries when it comes to investing in early childhood education, and after all the pomp and ceremony of the budget blows over, Australia will still be in last place.

Whilst education spending has increased on average by 48% among developed (OECD) countries, government spending on education has actually fallen by 7% since John Howard became Prime Minister.

Similarly, whilst higher education spending per student has gone up on average by 6% among developed (OECD) countries, in Australia it has fallen by 6% under John Howard

In 1996, Commonwealth recurrent funding for Australian universities stood at 0.9 % of GDP. Even after the budget, Commonwealth recurrent funding to universities under John Howard will still only make up 0.6% of our GDP.

Student HECS debt is at an all time high. In Calwell alone, students owe a staggering $58.5 million dollars in HECS debt. Nationally, students owe $13 billion

After Tuesday’s budget, HECS fees for students studying Accounting, Economics or Commerce will climb even higher.

The government is also planning to abolish the current 35% cap on the number of full fee paying places universities can allocate to Australian students. This 35% cap was originally introduced to make sure that the majority of university places set aside for Australian students remained government funded, making university more accessible to all Australians, and making sure that entry to university was based on academic achievement, rather than financial wealth.

Contact: Alex Kouttab