Training cut a setback to Tasmania

TEN Trade Training Centres to have been built in Tasmania have been axed following the federal government's decision to scrap funding across the country.

Treasurer Joe Hockey announced this week that the Labor- instigated trade training program run through selected schools would be axed and the $987 million in savings would be put towards helping to fund the $1.2 billion required for the Gonski reforms in Western Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory.

Acting opposition spokesman for education and early childhood Senator Kim Carr said the scrapping of the 10 centres in Tasmania and a total of 652 around the country was another broken promise by the Abbott government.

These were sentiments shared by Tasmanian Education Minister Nick McKim, who said the state would be particularly affected by the decision.

"This trade training program is all about providing better access to vocational training for people in rural and remote areas," Mr McKim said.

"The Tasmanians most hurt by this betrayal will include young people wanting a future in our excellent agriculture or aquaculture sectors, or needing skills in trades like bricklaying and auto repair."

According to the Tasmanian Education Department, there are eight trade training centres in the state, with 840 students.

Proposals for West Coast and Tasman Trade Training centres received in-principle support in the last round of funding.

According to parliamentary secretary for education Senator Scott Ryan, these two will go ahead.

Australian Education Union state president Terry Polglase said the scrapping of the program would particularly hit regional communities as disadvantaged youth were less likely to be able to travel elsewhere to get alternative forms of education and therefore finish school.

He said the 2012-13 Skills Institute annual report was evidence of the significant decline Tasmania had already experienced in the number of people starting apprenticeships since 2009, dropping from 1711 to 1207 in 2013, and the overall number of people doing apprenticeships falling from 6584 to 4957 over the same period.

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