Monday, 19 March 2012 00:00
Federal Member for Melbourne Ports
ABS data shows an estimated 1 million people across Victoria are missing out on the opportunities that come from higher skills, including an extra $10,000 a year in wages.
Federal Member for Melbourne Ports, Michael Danby said the Gillard Government’s new skills plan would give these local people without a post school qualification every opportunity to undertake further education and training to get a better paid job.
Skills Australia estimates that in the five years to 2015 there is going to be a demand for an additional 144,000 people with a Certificate III/IV and 114,000 people with a Diploma across Victoria.
The Government’s offer to the states and territories will aim to get around an additional 375,000 students to complete qualifications over the next five years
“Workers who hold a Diploma or Advanced Diploma earn on average around $200 a week more than those with no post school qualification,” Mr Danby said.
“For workers in our local area who don’t hold a post school qualification, it could mean $400,000 more over their working life if they improved their skills to a Certificate III level or higher.
“I want to make sure local people have every opportunity to undertake further education and training in order to get these jobs in demand.”
Mr Danby said currently one of the barriers to vocational education for many people was the upfront fees.
Under the offer, the Government would:
• Abolish upfront fees for 60,000 students a year in vocational education and training – by providing interest-free, deferred loans for all students studying publicly-subsidised diplomas and advanced diplomas
• Give every Australian who wants one a guaranteed place in vocational training up to their first Certificate III, by providing a National Training Entitlement.
“No longer will local people be locked out of a higher qualification simply because they can’t pay the fees upfront,” Mr Danby said.
“Opening up a HECS-style system will put those wanting to undertake vocational education and training on a level footing with university students for the first time.”
Mr Danby said another part of the Government’s skills plan would be a new My Skills website, to be launched later this year.
The website will be a one-stop-shop for students to compare courses, fees, providers and the quality of training on offer.
“This new My Skills website will allow students to keep track of their qualification and training, as they up-skill and re-skill throughout their career, Mr Danby said.
“It will give people key information on the performance, quality and cost of training providers and allow them to make an informed choice.”
The blueprint released today - Skills for All Australians - outlines the skills challenge facing the nation and the Gillard Government’s offer to the states and territories, to be taken to next month’s COAG meeting.
The Gillard Government has put $1.75 billion on the table to work with the states and territories to deliver on these reforms, in addition to the $1.4 billion the Government already provides to them each year.
For more information visit www.pm.gov.au
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