Fiona Phillips


Shadow Minister for Regional Services and Whitlam MP Stephen Jones and Labor’s candidate for Gilmore Fiona Phillips today announced a funding boost for the Shoalhaven TAFE Campus in Bomaderry.

A Shorten Labor Government will provide a $2 million cash injection for much needed upgrades to collaborative teaching and learning spaces as well as library and digital equipment. The funds will also provide the Shoalhaven campus with new teaching and learning resources. 

Fiona Phillips said that a better TAFE system was an essential investment in training for the local community.

“As a local and former TAFE teacher I understand the need for investment in our Shoalhaven TAFE campus. These funds will make a huge difference in the learning facilities and resources for local students.

“Our community has the lowest workforce participation rate in Australia. Ensuring our local TAFE campus is up to scratch is key to giving locals the skills they need to get into full time work"

"At a TAFE forum held in Bomaderry in November the message was  loud and clear: facilities required upgrading and not enough students had the equipment they needed".  

“I heard stories about students buying their own equipment, broken digital whiteboards, ageing equipment and many other problems.

“That just isn’t good enough. So we have acted and delivered this investment to help students get the most out of their TAFE education and not have to worry about equipment and facilities in need of improvement and repair.”

Stephen Jones said that investing in TAFE was a no-brainer.

“Labor is committed to improving our TAFE campuses which provide students with the skills they need for 21st century jobs.

“The Liberals can’t be trusted on TAFE. At the end of March 2018 there were 2,441 fewer apprenticeships in training in Illawarra than when the Liberals got elected in September 2013. The figure for Gilmore was 810 - a 30 per cent decline.

“This shows a real neglect for vocational education but Fiona and I are here to fight for Shoalhaven TAFE and make sure students have what they need to get the most out of their education."

Labor is committed to TAFE and if elected will fight to reverse the decline in apprentices.

If elected, a Shorten Labor Government will  enable 100,000 students to go to TAFE without upfront fees.

Labor will also:

  • Invest $200 million to rebuild and upgrade TAFE campuses across the country.
  • Support 10,000 young Australians to do a pre-apprentice program to prepare them for work.
  • Provide support for 20,000 older workers to retrain through an Advanced Adult Apprenticeship.
  • Guarantee at least two out of three dollars of public funding goes to public TAFE.
  • Require at least one in 10 jobs on all major infrastructure and defence projects to be filled by an apprentice.
  • Establish an Apprentice Advocate, to improve the quality of Australia’s apprentice system and develop a long term plan for skills and training.

This stands in stark contrast to the Liberals - they have cut more than $3 billion from TAFE, skills and apprentices. Australia now has 150,000 fewer apprentices and trainees than when Labor left government in 2013.

They have been asleep at the wheel with TAFE enrolments dropping by 25 per cent.

At this election the choice is clear - investment in quality local services and education like TAFE or the cruel cuts and chaos of Scott Morrison and Warren Mundine’s Liberals.

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