Industry Initiatives & Training

Overview

The Liberals will extend their payroll tax rebates and small business grant programmes to support apprenticeships and traineeships through FY 2019-20 and 20-21. These extensions are claimed to support up to 4000 extra trainees and apprentices at a cost of $14.4m.

The Liberals will set a 70% floor on the proportion of state training funds allocated to TasTAFE, in response to commitments made by Labor and the Greens. The policy notes that under present arrangements about 80% of state training funds are allocated to TasTAFE.

TasCOSS Commentary

Encouraging apprenticeships and traineeships is equitable and future-oriented, and have strong outcomes if targeted at appropriate skill levels. The broader policy aim is evidence-based, equitable, and supportive of a strong future for Tasmanians. Whether payroll tax rebates and direct grants to small businesses are the optimal means of encouraging apprenticeships and traineeships is beyond the scope of this analysis.

The policy is laudable insofar as it protects TasTAFE within a contestable funding market it cannot succeed within for structural reasons. At present, the policy is also superfluous, as funding exceeds this threshold.

Across Australia, TAFEs have suffered from ongoing cuts to funding, contestability reforms, and cost shifting between state and federal governments. The policy does not address the total quantum of funding available.

It is unclear why Labor and the Greens did not target a higher or more specific threshold. The Greens’ policy states 70% of the number of contracts, not total funds, but this could result in more or less than 70% of total state funds going to TAFE, as the value of those contracts is unspecified. Labor specifies 70% of the total skills and training budget.

The Liberals match this policy, though did not need to commit funds to do so, as the alternative policies were either inadequately researched or not articulated clearly.

Read the full policies

Industry Initiatives and Training

A Stronger Training System

More Education & Training Election Policies


Built Infrastructure

While investment in better facilities for Tasmania’s state schools is welcome, as is the investment in early learning and years 11 and 12, it is not clear whether capital works should be the most urgent area of education expenditure for the Tasmanian Government.

School Workforce

Evidence does suggest (not always conclusively) that out-of-field teaching diminishes student results.

Early Childhood Intervention Service

If the ECIS were discontinued—a possibility this policy leaves open—there would be a vacuum of support for children with a disability or a developmental delay at their schools.

Access to Education

The existing scheme relies on IQ cut-offs and does not conceive of funding matched to a diversity of student needs and capabilities.

High Schools & Colleges

The policy is evidence-based, equitable, and supports a strong future for Tasmanians.