Tussle over training
HIGH YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT DRIVES DEBATE
A WAR of words has developed between Liberals and Labor over Tafe funding promises.
The State Government announced last week that funds from the proposed partial sale of Western Power would be used by a re-elected State Government to build new specialist training centres at the existing Peel and Murdoch Tafe campuses.
The Peel campus project would include a new $18.4 million hospitality, tourism and events management centre.
According to Deputy Premier Lisa Harvey, the promised funding was a once-in-a-generation opportunity and the partial sale of Western Power would bring older Tafes up to date and stimulate the economy.
She said the two projects, along with a new facility at Armadale, would create 1000 construction jobs and attract international students.
But Mandurah MLA David Templeman described the announcement as “too little, too late” and claimed the State Government had closed Mandurah’s Workforce Development Centre in 2014, which only re-opened following his pressure in Parliament.
Mr Templeman said Mandurah’s youth unemployment has continued to be one of the highest in the nation, yet the Liberal Government had stood by for eight years and done nothing.
“Their promises are all conditional on the sale of Western Power,” he said.
“They want to sell off Government assets that make us money but once they are gone, they are gone forever.’’ Mr Templeman also criticised the Government for planning to spend millions on a new specialist training centre while a training centre, catering particularly for wet-trade training in Mandurah, went unused because the State Government had provided no funding for the delivery of courses.
He said the state-of-theart centre should have been open and delivering trade courses from the start of this year.
He had met with the Master Plumbers and Gas Fitters Association and local enterprise Old School Training Inc, and they were “champing at the bit” to deliver courses if funding could be found. A Liberal Party spokesman said a new centre would ensure appropriate training and facilities across the region.
The State Government had invested $288 million in Tafe facilities since 2009, subsidised the cost of delivering all training by 85 per cent and recently increased the fee concession rate from 50 per cent to 70 per cent.
David Templeman says existing facilities could be used.