The SA Liberals have unveiled a plan to create 20,000 new apprenticeship places over the next four years at a cost of $200 million, to address a sharp decline in trainee positions across the state.
The party has committed $100 million over four years to the election promise, which it said would secure matching funding from the Federal Government.
Liberal leader Steven Marshall made the announcement at industrial equipment manufacturer Cavpower at Gepps Cross, and said the money would be for training providers, including registered training organizations, TAFE and private providers.
The Liberals have also promised to create a new technical college in Adelaide’s western suburbs to be funded separately. Mr Marshall said the number of trainees in the state had halved since 2013.
“Because of Labor’s failure with their TAFE scandal and their mismanagement of vocational education and training, we are heading towards a dangerous skills shortage in our state,” he said.
“They’ve been pulling huge amounts of money out of their training budget and this is now setting up a real problem.”
Premier Jay Weatherill said Mr Marshall’s figures were not correct, and the state’s vocation training budget has returned to normal, following the Government’s failed Skills for All program.
“We had a massive increase in funding to education when we had our Skills For All program and now our funding has returned back to pre-Skills For All levels,” Mr Weatherill said.
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