Media releases Education and Skills Community Services

Liberal Nationals to break down barriers for rural students

Wednesday 15 August 2018


Liberal Nationals to break down barriers for rural students


A young person’s future shouldn’t be determined by where they live.


For many young regional Victorians the daunting challenge of moving away from family and
friends for tertiary education is a reality they have to face alone.


An elected Liberal Nationals Government will invest in a brighter future for young Victorians with a
new program to help students who have to relocate settle into tertiary study.


In discussions with the Rural Youth Ambassadors, we'll provide $600,000 over four years to create
the Rural Tertiary Network, a program to link students who have moved to one of Victoria’s
regional cities or Melbourne for study with other students who have faced the challenge of settling
into university of TAFE away from home.


We’ll also establish a pop-up hub as a base for rural students and their families as they start their
tertiary education.


A lack of transitional support for regional students who relocate for study was one of the key
challenges identified in a 2013 report from the Regional Policy Advisory Committee.


Other challenges included isolation from friends and family, experiencing independent living for the
first time, culture shock and adjusting to an environment where they are one of many highachieving
students.


Only a Liberal Nationals Government will invest in a brighter future for Victoria’s next generation of
leaders.


Comment attributable to Shadow Minister for Skills, Training and Apprenticeships Steph Ryan
Young people from country Victoria deserve the same opportunities as city kids.


The Liberal Nationals will help more students from rural and regional Victoria overcome the
obstacles barring them from tertiary education, be it university or vocational education and
training.


Our Rural Tertiary Network will give them the support they need to tackle a tertiary education.

Media releases Education and Skills Community Services

Liberal Nationals will ensure a brighter future for young rural Victorians

Saturday 5 May 2018
Liberal Nationals will ensure a brighter future for young rural Victorians
An elected Liberal Nationals government will give our youngest rural and regional Victorians the best start in life, lifting education opportunities through better support for parents and children in the early years of schooling.
Leader of The Nationals Peter Walsh and Shadow Minister for Young Victorians Steph Ryan announced the Liberal Nationals’ $80 million Brighter Futures Fund in Shepparton today.
Mr Walsh said the Fund will be the first step in a dedicated investment to transform education for our youngest rural and regional Victorians.
“A child’s future shouldn’t be determined by where they live, but we know there’s a persistent disadvantage in education in rural communities compared to the city,” Mr Walsh said.
“The Liberal Nationals will work to close the rural education gap because we believe the long-term prosperity of our country communities relies on our young people having a brighter future.”
The Victorian Auditor General recently found ‘there is no sign that the gap in performance is likely to narrow. Indeed, in some areas of performance, the gap is getting wider’.
Results of the most recent Australian Early Development Census show 15 of Victoria’s 20 worst performing LGAs for early childhood education are in rural and regional Victoria.
Action is needed to ensure our children have the best start in life.
Ms Ryan said the $80 million Fund will be invested in integrated education hubs – a one-stop-shop for allied health, early childhood, maternal and child health services, and tertiary education.
“A short-term plan won’t secure real change. We know real change will only happen with a dedicated generational approach,” Ms Ryan said.
“The Premier for Melbourne’s promise to make Victoria the ‘education state’ ends at Melbourne’s tram tracks.
“An elected Liberal Nationals government will do more than create number plate slogans.
“It takes a village to raise a child and we’ll help build that village to ensure children in rural and regional Victoria have a brighter future.”

Media releases Education and Skills Community Services

Half a billion missing from the education department

Thursday 15 February 2018

Victoria’s training budget was underspent by hundreds of millions of dollars in 2016-17 but no one seems to know where the money has gone.

Asked today how much money was returned to consolidated revenue, department officials appeared to be struck by a case of amnesia.

Department officials are not just confused about where the money’s gone, they are also unable to get their story straight on the extent of Labor’s cuts.

The figures provided at Public Accounts and Estimates Committee today don’t match up to the figures provided at hearings in May.

The Productivity Commission’s Report on Government services, released earlier this month, revealed that in 2016 Labor underspent the student training budget by a staggering $502 million.

Comments to be attributed to Shadow Training, Skills & Apprenticeships Minister Steph Ryan

Higher skills and training officials have got a serious case of the ‘umm’s.

It just isn’t believable that hundreds of millions of dollars could vanish from the department and no one knows what it’s been spent on.

Daniel Andrews cannot continue to claim he is providing record funding for training when the $1.2 billion student training budget has been cut by half a billion in just one year.

Labor’s cuts are of unprecedented magnitude and are a betrayal of his promise to ‘rescue’ TAFE.

Media releases Education and Skills Regional Development Community Services

Labor’s training ‘rescue’ cuts funding in half

Thursday 1 February 2018

Daniel Andrews' promise to 'rescue' TAFE was a lie.

Instead of a rescue, Daniel Andrews is conducting a raid cutting $123 million from the sector in the past 12 months alone.

A report from the Productivity Commission released today shows the Andrews Labor Government cut recurrent funding to Victoria's VET sector to $698.7 million in 2016.

This is half the investment under the former Liberal Nationals government, with $1.57 billion spent on training in 2012.

The Report on Government Services 2018 also showed students continue to lose confidence in Victoria’s training sector.

Government-funded VET student numbers dropped to 338,400, from 460,500 in 2014.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Training Skills and Apprenticeships Steph Ryan

As student numbers plummet, the Andrews Labor Government is investing less in our state’s training sector.

It’s ironic that Daniel Andrews promised to 'rescue' TAFE and then halved the state’s training spend.

Under Labor, Victoria’s training system is weaker, not stronger.

Media releases Community Services Education and Skills

Labor cuts funding to sign language courses

Wednesday 1 November 2017

 

The Andrews Labor Government has cut funding for Australian sign language (AUSLAN) courses.

From January 1 next year, Melbourne Polytechnic, as the sole provider of accredited AUSLAN qualifications in Victoria, will no longer be subsidised by the Victorian Government to deliver a Certificate II, III and IV or Diploma in Auslan.

The decision to cut funding for Auslan was revealed in changes to the Andrews Government’s 2018 funded course list.

The course was first accredited in 2011 by the Victorian Registrations and Qualifications Authority (VRQA) to enable the acquisition of skills by members of the deaf community.

In 2012 as Labor’s spokesperson for Skills and Training, Steve Herbert stated: “Clearly there’s a need for this training, and the government should simply fund at TAFE to provide it from the start of next year”.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Training, Skills and Apprenticeships Steph Ryan

Victoria’s deaf community deserve better than Daniel Andrews’ callous funding cuts.

From the start of next year, Victorians will have to pay more than $5000 to gain these important skills.

Daniel Andrews should immediately reinstate this qualification to ensure it can continue to be delivered as an accredited qualification next year.

Media releases Education and Skills Community Services

Young people call bull on Mikakos’ excuses

Wednesday 18 October 2017

Young people encouraged to apply for Labor’s Youth Congress are still waiting to hear if their applications were successful, four months after the Congress was due to begin.

Asked about the delay in Parliament on Tuesday, Youth Affairs Minister Jenny Mikakos blamed Australia Post, despite applicants confirming that all correspondence with them to date has been via phone and email.

Ms Mikakos said the letters were signed, but ‘must still be making their way through Australia Post’s unreliable and slow service’.

Shadow Minister for Young Victorians Steph Ryan said the bizarre claim didn’t explain the four-month delay.

“The Andrews Government touted the Youth Congress as a flagship project designed so young people could get a genuine say in the development of policy, yet four months after it was due to begin people don’t even know if their applications have been accepted or rejected,” Ms Ryan said.

“Jenny Mikakos is so distracted by the crisis in the youth justice system that she has little time for young Victorians who want to make a positive contribution to our state.

“I have spoken with three young people from different parts of Victoria who applied to be on Youth Congress and not one has been advised on the outcome of their application.

“When they were interviewed in June they were told they would be contacted in the next four weeks, advising them of the outcome.

“These applications have been gathering dust on the Minister’s desk for months, awaiting her signature.

 “Jenny Mikakos has done nothing but pay lip service to the participation of young people in shaping policy.”

When they were asked to apply, young people were required to fill out an application form which stated they would be required for a ‘12 month commitment from late June 2017 to 30 June 2018’.

Media releases Education and Skills Community Services

Daniel Andrews failing to fix Victoria’s training crisis

Wednesday 23 August 2017

Victorian students are continuing to lose faith in our state’s training sector, as enrolments under the Andrews Labor Government continue to plummet.

Data released by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) shows TAFE student numbers dropped by 52,400 between 2015 and 2016.

Asked about the decrease in Parliament on Wednesday, Minister for Training and Skills Gayle Tierney appeared unaware of the data, which is a key measure of Victoria’s training system.

It isn’t the first time Ms Tierney has been unaware of key events in her own portfolio. Two weeks ago she failed to explain why Victoria’s 2016 training market data was eight months overdue. The report still hasn’t been published.

Labor cut $45 million from the state’s training budget in its May budget.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Training, Skills and Apprenticeships Steph Ryan

The training sector is in chaos but the Andrews Labor Government continually fails to provide the leadership needed to fix this mess.

Daniel Andrews and Gayle Tierney are stuck in the past if they believe their 2015 ‘quality blitz’ on dodgy private providers can explain why droves of Victorian students have left TAFE.

Gayle Tierney is so distracted by her Corrections portfolio and the state’s crime crisis that she appears to have no clue of the crisis within Victoria’s training sector.

Media releases Regional Development Education and Skills Infrastructure Energy Environment Community Services

Daniel Andrews’ 11 new taxes, skyrocketing energy bills are the problem; his website isn’t the solution

Tuesday 22 August 2017

The greatest threat to Victorian families keeping a roof over their head is Daniel Andrews’ eleven new taxes and reckless policies that are pushing up the cost of living.

Daniel Andrews has introduced eleven new taxes, increasing overall tax revenue by more than 20 per cent on Victorians. One of those new taxes forced the closure of Hazelwood Power Station, which has forced up electricity costs that are hurting families and small businesses.  

A tenancy agreement that goes beyond five years will not matter if people can't afford to put their children through school, put food on the table, switch on the lights or keep heaters on in winter.

Rather than wasting money on a taxpayer funded website which is effectively mirroring the service provided by realestate.com.au or domain.com.au, Labor should be investing in our deteriorating country roads or better public transport to our regional communities.

If Daniel Andrews was serious about housing issues, he wouldn’t have introduced eleven new taxes or effectively closed Hazelwood. 

Media releases Education and Skills Community Services

Tierney hides training report, now eight months overdue

Wednesday 9 August 2017

Background

The Andrews Labor Government is burying key data showing the extent of its cuts to Victoria’s struggling training system.

Asked about the delay of the 2016 training market report in Parliament, Training and Skills Minister Gayle Tierney claimed the report could not be completed until the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) published its 2016 data on training activity.

The NCVER published that information on July 12 this year.

Gayle Tierney is either engaged in a cover up or she is so incompetent that she is unaware of key events in her own portfolio.

The 2015 report, published in May 2016, showed Victoria’s training system has gone into steep decline under Labor.

Labor cut $45 million from the state’s training budget in its May budget and, on the last available figures, the number of students enrolled in government-subsidised training in Victoria has declined by 122,597 since December 2014.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Training, Skills and Apprenticeships Steph Ryan

Gayle Tierney is hiding this report because it shows that Victoria’s training system has gone down the gurgler under Labor.

Daniel Andrews used TAFE to get elected, but now he’s Premier he isn’t interested in helping students get the skills they need to get a job.

Victorian students have been left in the dark for eight months because Labor wants to keep its failed TAFE ‘rescue’ a secret.

The sector has lost more than 122,000 students since Labor was elected and Daniel Andrews’ answer is to cut $45 million from the training budget.

Media releases Education and Skills Community Services

Labor's failed Federation Training 'rescue'

Tuesday 27 June 2017

Daniel Andrews’ TAFE ‘rescue’ has been a total sham.

A third of Federation Training's workforce was sacked with 182 full time equivalent staff losing their jobs at the TAFE in Labor's first year in office.  

Under Daniel Andrews the number of students undertaking training at Federation Training has reduced drastically, with 700,000 fewer student contact hours being offered.

The figures were revealed in Federation Training's 2015 annual report, which was tabled in Parliament more than a year late. 

For months, Training and Skills Minister Gayle Tierney has refused to answer basic questions about Federation Training’s staff numbers, student enrolments and its finances, suddenly claiming the information is “commercially sensitive”.

Seven out of the state’s 12 TAFE Institutes, including Federation Training, are relying on government bailouts to stay afloat.

Gayle Tierney has supported the closure of student services, the sacking of teachers and presided over a huge reduction in student numbers at Federation Training.