Gaining skills to cost more
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.’’