TAFE best option for skills training: Labor Leader Rebecca White

Labor MLC Josh Willie, Opposition treasury spokesman Scott Bacon, Opposition Leader Rebecca White, Lyons Labor MHA Brian Mitchell, federal Opposition treasury spokesman Chris Bowen, Incat managing director Craig Clifford and Franklin Labor MHA Julie Collins

Labor MLC Josh Willie, Opposition treasury spokesman Scott Bacon, Opposition Leader Rebecca White, Lyons Labor MHA Brian Mitchell, federal Opposition treasury spokesman Chris Bowen, Incat managing director Craig Clifford and Franklin Labor MHA Julie Collins

Opposition Leader Rebecca White has called on the state government to commit to structural reforms of Tasmania’s TAFE system, saying it had only proposed “short-term band-aids” so far.

On Thursday, Ms White was joined by federal Opposition treasury spokesman Chris Bowen at catamaran manufacturer Incat’s Derwent Park shipyard.

Ms White said Incat, which employs more than 550 workers, was an “extraordinary example of what we can do … when we provide opportunities for employment”.

“One of the opportunities a business like Incat provides is a career progression from education right through to skills training and apprenticeships and traineeships on the job,” she said.

Ms White said TasTAFE was the best option for people seeking a qualification to perform skilled labour.

“Our fear at the moment is people aren’t getting the right skills and training that they need,” she said.

“And there’s nothing worse than coming across somebody that tells you ... they’ve undertaken a course with a private registered training organisation, where the piece of paper they get at the end of it is worthless.

“Employers don’t recognise it and they can’t get a job.”

In April, Ms White announced Labor’s intention to establish industry advisory councils, which would see the business sector partner with a prospective Labor government to determine the best possible employment and training outcomes for a given industry.

These councils would also be tasked with determining how TasTAFE might be positioned to best ensure such outcomes are achieved.

Mr Bowen said the federal Labor caucus would “never take Tasmania for granted”.

“The fact that we are here in a very busy week post-budget, shows how seriously we take the Tasmanian economy and the people of Tasmania,” he said.

“I look forward to coming back as Treasurer after my first budget to talk with Premier White and others about what we’re doing together for the people of Tasmania.”

Premier Will Hodgman announced on Thursday that the Drysdale TAFE campus in Hobart, which specialises in hospitality courses, would receive $3.2 million in funding to turn it into a hospitality Centre for Excellence.

“Our investment will better align our workforce training with industry demands to create rewarding and sustainable careers for Tasmanians that best meet the needs of business,” he said.

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