Victoria’s VET cuts hurting business and the community- VECCI CEO…

Latest funding cuts damage industry and employment

The latest round of funding cuts to the Victorian Training Guarantee funding model are bad for business and work opportunities for young people, says VECCI.

“Despite the State Government having undertaken to discuss proposals for further changes to the training system with business and industry, it appears that little consultation has taken place,” says VECCI Chief Executive Mark Stone.

Recent announcements abolishing funding support for young people engaged in part-time traineeships or apprenticeships while still at school will have an immediate negative effect on employers who traditionally provide employment and training opportunities for them.

“What seems to have been forgotten is that access to work experience and formal training not only has an immediate positive impact on young workers to the benefit of their employers, but it also provides skills that benefit the community as a whole.

“It goes without saying that the removal of funding support will now seriously undermine this training effort.”

The other major concern is a steep cut to hourly funding rates, with rates for some qualifications reduced by as much as $9 per hour to only $1.50 and many reduced by around $3 per hour.

“These cuts will work against the training effort of industry at a time when Victoria needs more highly skilled workers to remain competitive,” Mr Stone says.

The cuts being introduced will also affect existing trainees and their training providers, both of whom will now have to adjust as existing funding levels will not be maintained.

Fortunately, there was some good news in the announcements, with the regional loading for training providers to be increased in line with the recommendation made by VECCI at its recent Victoria Summit.

“The regional loading increase is good news for both employers and individuals as it will help support local delivery,” Mr Stone says.

“The funding increase for concession eligible students is also welcome.”

However, these positives do not outweigh the funding cuts, which will affect skills shortage areas such as community services, aged care, disability services, the services sector and retail.

VECCI calls on the Government to immediately meet with business stakeholders to discuss and review the announced funding cuts because of their adverse impact on both employers and trainees.