BRISBANE , AUSTRALIA - NewsWire Photos - OCTOBER 18, 2020. Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk during LaborÕs campaign launch in Brisbane. Queenslanders go to the polls on October 31. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled
BRISBANE , AUSTRALIA - NewsWire Photos - OCTOBER 18, 2020. Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk during LaborÕs campaign launch in Brisbane. Queenslanders go to the polls on October 31. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled

Promise to extend free TAFE, apprenticeships to under 25s

IF RE-ELECTED, a Palaszczuk Labor Government has promised to provide more young people with free TAFE and free apprenticeships, under a $21 million plan to extend the opportunity to under 25s.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said Labor had already provided free TAFE and free apprenticeships for Queenslanders under 21, giving training opportunities to more than 24,000 young people.

“Now we’re going further by extending that to under 25s,” she said.

“That means another 37,000 young people throughout Queensland will be able to get world-class vocational training for free.

“We’ve been backing young people to help them prepare for the job market, as part of our ongoing plan to recover from the global impact of COVID-19.

“Now we’re committing more funding to help even more young TAFE students and trainees.

“We are able to do that because our strong health response has allowed us to implement our economic recovery plan, while the LNP instead is on a reckless rush back to a surplus which can only be achieved by cuts.”

Labor Member for Maryborough Bruce Saunders said it followed last week’s announcement of a return to rail building in Maryborough.

“Labor’s commitment to apprenticeships and training is clear and unwavering,” Mr Saunders said.

Labor candidate for Bundaberg Tom Smith said Labor also announced $4.35 million at Bundaberg TAFE for a new Agriculture and Horticulture Centre and a new Maker Space Centre to support high-end manufacturing activities.

FUNDING ANNOUNCEMENT: Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner and Bundaberg Labor candidate Tom Smith at the local TAFE.
FUNDING ANNOUNCEMENT: Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner and Bundaberg Labor candidate Tom Smith at the local TAFE.

“After showing how we’re modernising TAFE facilities, we’re now demonstrating how we’ll make courses available to more young people,” Mr Smith said.

Labor candidate for Hervey Bay Adrian Tantari said it also followed Labor’s announcement of $1.2 million for Hervey Bay TAFE to upgrade training in nursing and allied health.

“Expanding free TAFE and free apprenticeships will help more young people get jobs in our region,” Mr Tantari said.

Minister for Training and Skills Development Shannon Fentiman said the extended program will apply to 165 priority qualification areas, including health services, hospitality, engineering, aged and disability support and early childhood education.

“As part of our recovery measures, we are extending our support to even more young Queenslanders so they have the best chance of undertaking training that will lead to a rewarding career,” Ms Fentiman said.

“This initiative is also backing our local businesses to take on an apprentice or trainee by removing the cost of training.

“Young Queenslanders under the age of 25 will get free training in high priority courses that we know will lead to jobs.

“Currently more than 24,000 young people are gaining a qualification for free under Free TAFE and Free Apprenticeships and we want that number to grow.”

In contrast, Minister Fentiman said that the LNP could not be trusted with Queensland’s TAFE system.

“The last time the LNP were in Government, 40,000 Queenslanders were locked out of our TAFE system. We simply cannot risk that happening again.”

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