Release type: Media Release


Fact check earns Labor and Richard Marles a Diploma in Spin on apprenticeships


The Hon Stuart Robert MP
Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business
Acting Minister for Education and Youth

Labor’s campaign to undermine the credibility of Australia’s skills and training sector under the Morrison Government has been dealt a death blow and has earned Labor and Richard Marles a Diploma in Spin.

Analysis by RMIT ABC Fact Check found claims made by Richard Marles, echoed by Anthony Albanese, Labor members and senators across Australia that ‘there are 70,000 fewer apprentices and trainees today then there was in 2013’ were ‘spin’ and did not tell true story when it came to the state of Australians skills under the Morrison Government.

The Morrison Government has invested $13 billion in the skills system through the pandemic. This record investment, targeted at skilling Australians, has delivered the highest number of trade apprenticeships on record—220,000.

The Fact Check team established falls in trainee numbers that Labor have been attributing to the Morrison Government were actually delivered by Labor. Its notes the fall in trainee numbers ‘began well before the Coalition came to power’ noting ‘the collapse in traineeships began in 2012, before the Morrison Government was elected.’

The team reaffirmed what the Morrison Government has repeatedly identified— that this massive loss of Australian trainees followed changes introduced in 2012 by the then Labor government to address well documented and systemic rorting of employer training subsidies.

This is a devastating blow to Labor’s campaign to undermine Australia’s skills sector and falsely lay blame at the Morrison Government. Richard Marles and Anthony Albanese now join Bill Shorten as being found to be peddling misinformation on Australian skills in the lead up to a Federal Election following similar claims being debunked before the 2019 Election by ABC Fact Check.

Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business, Stuart Robert, said when it came to skills Anthony Albanese and Richard Marles have earned a certified Diploma in Spin, which was unsurprising as he had undertaken his political apprenticeship during the failed Rudd-Gillard-Rudd Labor Government.

‘The now de-bunked high-water mark under Labor was based on a flood of junk-traineeships and when the water went out the Australian taxpayer had to foot the bill,’ Minister Robert said.

‘Labor presided over generational scarring across our workforce, but because of the Morrison Government’s record investment in Australia-first skills today, we are actually delivering generational skilling.

‘Australia can’t afford to risk our recovery—particularly our development of skills—under Anthony Albanese and Labor.’