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VET training body delighted by Budget

Unlike other higher education divisions, the VET sector has largely embraced the 2017 Budget, which endows the sector with $1.56 billion worth of funds.

Most of this money will be used to create 300,000 new apprenticeships in high-demand fields like tourism, hospitality, health and ageing, engineering, manufacturing, building and construction, agriculture, and digital technologies. The remaining $60 million will be spent on mentoring programs for those in remote areas and those in changing industries, like manufacturing.

Lauren Tiltman, national executive officer of the National Apprentice Employment Network (NAEN), is pleased with these developments, as well as the new focus on upskilling veterans.

And though the national partnership agreement on skills between the Commonwealth and the states and territories hasn’t been renewed,  Tiltman is satisfied with this; she’d rather the sector receive the extra funds.

Such subsidisation is much needed. Business Council of Australia chief executive Jennifer Westacott previously told Campus Review that “since 2012, there has been a 45 per cent drop in the number of apprentices in training”. According to the government, this is mostly due to a sharp decline in funding.

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