Gain­ing skills to cost more

The Advertiser - Careers - - Workplace News -

WORK­ERS who want to up­skill may have to pay more for their qual­i­fi­ca­tion be­cause of Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment bud­get cuts to the vo­ca­tional ed­u­ca­tion and train­ing sec­tor.

The VET sec­tor has been named by reg­is­tered train­ing or­gan­i­sa­tion Up­skilled as one of the hard­est hit by cuts to the in­no­va­tion, re­search and higher ed­u­ca­tion port­fo­lios, which in­cludes the re­moval of in­cen­tives to train in some ar­eas.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive Jon Lang ex­pects it will have a ma­jor im­pact on busi­nesses and in­di­vid­u­als be­cause train­ing will come at a higher cost.

‘‘ There was a $470 mil­lion cut over a four-year pe­riod, $280 mil­lion for part-time em­ploy­ers and $90 mil­lion in­cen­tive cuts for diploma level and above,’’ he says.

‘‘ This meant a re­moval of cer­tain in­cen­tives for busi­nesses and com­pa­nies (to put staff through train­ing).’’

In­cen­tives for full and part­time students undertaking diploma and ad­vance diploma qual­i­fi­ca­tions re­ceived a sig­nif­i­cant cut, he says.

‘‘ Es­sen­tially, the in­cen­tives for part-timers were halved,’’ Lang says. ‘‘ The Gov­ern­ment calls for a more flex­i­ble work­force and pro­vid­ing more for women but from a part­time (stu­dent’s) per­spec­tive, it’s a con­tra­dic­tion.’’

Small busi­nesses, which rely on in­cen­tive pay­ments to fund train­ing, also are af­fected.

Lang says it is not all ‘‘ doom and gloom’’ for those in train­ing be­cause new in­cen­tives that have been in­tro­duced for ap­pren­tices in the con­struc­tion sec­tor will help to tar­get short­ages in the build­ing and con­struc­tion in­dus­try.

‘‘ The new in­cen­tives for ap­pren­tices in the con­struc­tion sec­tor are fan­tas­tic,’’ he says.

‘‘ How­ever they’re at the detri­ment of other sec­tors.’’

More than half, or 53.9 per cent, of em­ploy­ers used the VET sys­tem in the past 12 months.

‘‘ The VET sec­tor is a for­ever chang­ing land­scape,’’ Lang says.

‘‘ The changes to the bud­get were ef­fec­tive im­me­di­ately – as a stu­dent or busi­ness you need to act fast.

‘‘ It’s a com­pli­cated in­dus­try that is con­stantly chang­ing. The best ad­vice for students and busi­nesses is to seek ex­pert ad­vice.’’

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