The Commission of Audit’s recommendations would cut vocational training and education programs off at the knees, making it harder for unemployed young people to enter the workforce, Unions NSW said today.

Under the recommendations, the $700 million National Workforce Development Fund would be cut, as would Commonwealth funding for apprentices.

 

At the same time, the Government plans to introduce harsh new measures to force young people to relocate to so-called ‘high employment areas’.

 

Unions NSW Secretary, Mark Lennon, said the Government’s policy direction was completely incoherent.

 

“Tony Abbott’s Liberal Government wants to introduce draconian new measures for young job seekers, while at the same time the Commission of Audit pushes to remove the training and education that would get them jobs. These policies make absolutely no sense.

 

“You can’t on the one hand attack young people for lacking a willingness to work, while at the same time remove funding for apprenticeships and vocational training.

 

“In NSW, youth unemployment is 11.8 per cent. In parts of Western Sydney, such as Parramatta it’s nudging 17 per cent.

 

“This Government clearly thinks training our young people is a cost. They need to see it as an investment.

 

“Coalition members across the country need to tell the PM and the Treasurer to reject the recommended cuts to vocational education and training. We are all poorer if we fail to invest in young people.”

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