Cuts mean youth miss out: Ellis

Opposition spokeswoman Kate Ellis outside the Darling Range Sports College in Forrestfield.
Opposition spokeswoman Kate Ellis outside the Darling Range Sports College in Forrestfield.

Opposition spokeswoman Kate Ellis visited one of the schools targeted to be slashed in the cuts last week.

‘Young people need skills and work experience to get good jobs and Trade Training Centres mean high school students get to do that,’ Ms Ellis said.

In Hasluck, Darling Range Sports College was eligible for a TTC grant but won’t get access to funding because of the new budget.

In July, Hasluck MP Ken Wyatt said in a media release the quality of the TTC in schools program was independently reviewed, amid feedback students were not graduating with the skills employers needed.

Mr Wyatt said the ‘industry has raised numerous concerns about inconsistencies in the quality of training, qualifications and equipment offered from one centre to the next’.

‘We need to get more of our kids into trades and training if we’re going to address skills shortages, but that training needs to be high-quality and include on-the-job experience to be effective,’ he said.

Mr Wyatt said the Government was working to update the national Vocational Education and Training in Schools (VETiS) framework.

But the Opposition spokeswoman did not agree.

Ms Ellis, who was in Forrestfield, told the waiting media ‘by denying students such opportunities, the Government will just make youth unemployment worse and rob young people of a fair shot at getting a job’.

She said youth unemployment was averaging over 10 per cent in WA this year. |’If we look at welfare dependency, and economic growth and even the crime rate, these will all head in the wrong direction as a result of cutting such programs,’ she said.

The Abbott Government has cut $950 million from the education budget for secondary colleges.

Three other schemes for youth in schools are also targeted for review.

The Government has also looked at Youth Connections, Partnership Brokers and National Career Advice.

Perth MP Alannah |MacTiernan said the programs helped young Australians finish Year 12, get work experience and understand their options for the future. ‘Denying young people the dole for six months no matter how hard they are trying to find work, while at the same time as scrapping real opportunities to gain skills and advice for employment programs is grossly unfair and simply doesn’t make sense,’ she said.

Darling Range Sports College principal Peter Noack did not return calls.