Unemployment rises as Barnett Liberals hit TAFE students with huge fee increases in 2015

Unemployment rises as Barnett Liberals hit TAFE students with huge fee increases in 2015

The Barnett Liberal National Government has just made it much harder for young Western Australians to find a job, with another big increase in TAFE fees, State Member for Fremantle Simone McGurk said today.

TAFE fees under the Liberal-Nationals have now risen by up to 515 percent since 2013.

The nominal hourly rate fee for apprenticeship courses will rise by another 24 percent in 2015. General Industry Training courses will rise by almost 19 percent. The $2,500 cap on fees in these courses has also been removed.

Ms McGurk said the increase to fees comes after a fall in annual new apprenticeship commencements by more than 1,400 in 2013-14 compared to 2010-11.

“The rises will make training unaffordable for thousands of young Western Australians at a time when industry is experiencing shortages in key trades,” Ms McGurk said.

“This would lead to even more Western Australians missing out, while skilled overseas workers were imported to fill future skill shortages.

“Our State’s economy will be the loser without a strong, skilled local workforce.

“So many young Western Australians are keen to gain the skills that will help them find good, well paid jobs, but now many will fail to achieve their dreams.”

Ms McGurk said enrolments went down when fees shot up last year and more people will find TAFE simply too expense again this year.

“The Premier has plenty of money to splash out on his own highly-paid staff but he doesn’t seem to care about young people trying to start a trade or career,” she said.

“It’s crazy given there is still a strong demand for certain trades in Western Australia, such as bricklaying, and this is causing delays and extra costs to business.

“At a time when unemployment is starting to rise, the government should be doing all it can to skill up Western Australians to increase their employment opportunities.”