Interview — 2HD Breakfast with Richard King and Shanna Bull
Topics: Skills Funding; Jenkins Report into Parliament workplace
Well, look, part of the lengthy speech that Anthony Albanese, Labor leader, gave yesterday focused on TAFE.
Well, as you said, Shanna, we've been contacted by, well, the Liberal Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business who is on the line, Stuart Robert. Good morning, Minister.
Morning, morning. How is it up there in the Hunter?
Well, we're expecting more rain this week. We've had plenty of it and plenty more on the way. Yes, look, TAFE been under fire and under siege from state and federal governments. Anthony Albanese, well look, let's recap again:
We will invest in 465,000 free TAFE places and create up to 20,000 new university places to address Australia's demand for skilled work.
[End of Excerpt]
Well, that sounds like a good move on the part of Labor, Minister.
Well, it would be if you can believe it. We’ve put $2 billion into JobTrainer, which is, again, free training or low fee training, not just across TAFEs, but all registered training organisations, over the last year and a half. That's two billion on top of 3.9 billion for boosting apprentices, on top of 600 million per completion of apprentices. So, we're at six and a half billion.
Mr Albanese is coming forward with 600 million. Let's call him ‘Mr 10 Per Cent’. Not too sure how that's going to work out for him.
How would the Morrison Government help those though, particularly here in the Hunter region, looking to up skill?
Well, for a start, we wouldn't put a 43 per cent carbon tax on your large industries. And we wouldn’t shut down places like Tomago and force others to decrease their emissions at such a rate. So, number one, we wouldn't be doing that.
Number two, we would continue to rollout out our six and a half billion-dollar investment. JobTrainer has been incredibly effective. We’ve already seen 300,000 people all over the place, including the Hunter, actually getting that free or low fee training. And we’ll continue to double down on that.
Likewise we are at 217,400 trade apprentices right now, a record high. In fact, I'd visited a whole bunch of them down in the Hunter recently, doing extraordinary work.
And look, changing the subject, because we're – we've been overloaded with politicians this morning. We appreciate the fact that you have contacted us. Another hot subject is alcohol in Parliament House. Now that you've broken up for the year, what's your feeling on an alcohol ban for Federal Parliament?
The Jenkins Report has come through, of course, looking at the workplace, and Parliament as a workplace. The report has come through with multiple recommendations, all sides of parliament, including all political parties, and now they’re reviewing it and going through it. There are, I guess, lots of different ways that you can slice and dice the issue of parliament as a workplace, but the key thing is that it is a workplace, people should feel heard and respected and safe in it, and that’s where we want all of our workplaces to be.
Appreciate your time this morning, Minister.
Thank you very much, Minister.
And have a safe and a happy Christmas.
Yeah, you too, bless you guys up there.
Thank you. Stuart Robert, the Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Family and Small Business.