Thursday 22nd November 2007
Lack of investment behind skills shortage
Lack of investment in vocational education and training (VET) over the past 11 years is the primary cause of the severe skills shortages impacting on the economy, according to the Australian Industry Group.
AIG says Australia will need 270,000 more skilled workers over the next 10 years. Most will have to be trained at TAFE colleges, yet over 300,000 people have been turned away from TAFE courses since 1998.
Australia’s skills shortage has become critical across most sectors and nursing is one of the worst affected. Australia faces a potential national shortfall of 40,000 nurses by 2010.
Annual average productivity growth: Australia compared to the OECD average
Changes in public expenditure (share of GDP) on tertiary education institutions 1995 to 2003
Liberals’ record on VET
A booming economy requires planning well in advance to cater for future workforce needs, yet the past 11 years have seen a serious decline in federal government support for education and training.
Labor plans an ‘education revolution’
The Labor Party has flagged that training and education will be a key pillar of their vision, promising what they call an ‘education revolution’.
Kevin Rudd said his main aim was to make Australia ‘the best educated country, the most skilled economy and the best trained workforce in the world’.
Labor promises to back this up with adequate funding.