SUBJECTS: Job-ready graduates, JobKeeper
Natalie Barr: Education Minister Dan Tehan joins me now from Canberra. Good morning to you. We’ll get on to the uni fee shake up in just a moment. But, we just want to ask you about the possible JobKeeper revamp for vulnerable industries. Is it going ahead? And, what are those vulnerable industries?
Dan Tehan: Well, the Government has made very clear that we are reviewing JobKeeper at the moment – we’ll do an assessment of it, and then we will make announcements in July. We have got to make sure that we get all the facts, we get all the data, and all the details that we need to be able to make a very informed choice when it comes to how we transition the economy. So, it will be done in a very methodical way. We’re assessing all the material at the moment. Treasury are going through that, they’ll make recommendations to the Government, and then the Government will decide in July what action it needs to take.
Barr: Okay, let’s go to fees. Things like arts, law, commerce are going up to $14,500 a year; nursing, teaching, psychology, down to $3,500 a year. Explain to us the reasoning behind this.
Tehan: Well, we’re about to face one of the biggest economic shocks that we’ve seen since the Great Depression, and we know that the demand for jobs will be in areas like teaching, like education, like in health, like in clinical psychology. So, what we want to do is make sure that the prices for those degrees is cheaper so we can incentivise students to undertake those degrees, because we know that there will be jobs for them when they finish their degree. So, that’s what we’re trying to do, is to make sure we get students studying in the areas where we know there will be skill shortages, and we know there will be jobs into the future.
Barr: Yeah, do you? A hundred thousand extra places by 2030. Do you know there will be that many extra jobs?
Tehan: Look, we’re confident that if we get our policy settings right, that we’re going to be able to grow the economy out of this coronavirus pandemic, and we know we’re going to need students with the right skills to be able to take the jobs that we need, and that’s why we want to get more teachers, that is why we want to get more nurses, we want to get more allied health specialists. We want to make sure we have the engineers and scientists to grow our economy as we come out of this pandemic, and that’s what these changes are all about.
Barr: Okay. Dan Tehan, thanks for your time this morning.