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Australia Albanese promotes Labor's skills plan

06:48  05 december  2021
06:48  05 december  2021 Source:   aap.com.au

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Labor says it will fund up to 20,000 extra university places over 2022 and 2023, and provide access to 465,000 free Tafe places in nominated areas of skills shortages, if Anthony Albanese wins the next federal election. The new skills and higher education commitments, worth .2bn, will be unveiled Sunday’ s skills package is Labor ’ s second major election policy announcement in two days. Labor unveiled its new climate change policy on Friday, which includes an emissions reduction target for 2030 of 43% and a commitment to boost the share of renewables in the national electricity market to 82%.

Albanese sought to contrast Labor ’ s vision for “A Better Future” (its election slogan) with “a government that is simply spent and a prime minister whose tank is on empty”. Albanese promised an agenda that would be “ambitious” but “just as importantly, affordable [and] achievable” in a speech pitched at undecided voters who Morrison is courting by warning against the risk of changing government. Albanese suggested Labor supporters ask undecided voters “do you really think this government led by Scott Morrison and Barnaby Joyce will get better in its fourth term” to encourage

Labor Leader Anthony Albanese has laid out his party's plans for skills training and universities during what has been described as an unofficial campaign launch ahead of next year's election.

Anthony Albanese outlined Labor's plan for TAFE and universities at an unofficial campaign launch. © Dean Lewins/AAP PHOTOS Anthony Albanese outlined Labor's plan for TAFE and universities at an unofficial campaign launch.

Speaking to the party faithful in Sydney, Mr Albanese said a Labor government would deliver 465,000 free TAFE places and boost university funding by almost $500 million to help an extra 20,000 Australians get jobs or upskill.

TAFE would receive an extra $621 million over four years, including $50 million for a capital works fund, under the plan.

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The analysis says Labor ’ s transition plan will generate 604,000 direct and indirect jobs compared to a business-as-usual scenario, include bn in new public investment, and drive 440Mt of emissions reductions between 2023 and 2030. Albanese said the pre-emptive strike showed the prime minister will just “attack anything”. He said it suggested the government was “out of puff”. “We see a government that doesn’t have a plan for today, let alone any concept of a vision for tomorrow,” the Labor leader said.

Labor has announced a target to reduce emissions by 43 per cent by 2030. The key climate change policy is only slightly less ambitious than Bill Shorten' s 45 per cent target which leader Anthony Albanese called a 'mistake' earlier this year. Mr Albanese previously called a 45 per cent target a mistake because the 2019 election saw Labor lose ground in coalmining areas. In October Scott Morrison announced an historic commitment to net zero carbon emissions by 2050 in a bid to tackle global warming.

"This is good policy for jobs, good policy for people looking to train or retrain, and good policy for businesses, which need more skilled workers," Mr Albanese said.

"Instead of driving wages down, Labor will train people up."

His deputy Richard Marles said Australia is facing a skills crisis and to ignore it would be a "huge mistake'.

"Cutting $3 billion out of TAFE, which this government has done over the last eight years, has come at the cost of developing the skills of Australians," Mr Marles told Sky New's Sunday Agenda program.

"And now Australian businesses are struggling to find the people they need."

As well, $481.7 million would be invested to deliver up to 20,000 extra university places over 2022 and 2023, making it easier for Australians to find a spot at university and get a job.

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Labor leader Anthony Albanese has revealed his climate change policy for the next federal election by declaring the plan will harness the economic potential of renewable energy to reduce emissions by 43 per cent by 2030. The long-awaited target exceeds the Coalition's forecast of a 35 per cent reduction, as well as its official target for a 26-28 per cent cut on 2005 emissions levels by 2030. Mr Albanese released the policy underpinning Labor ' s target on Friday, describing it as a "comprehensive plan " to take Australia forward.

Anthony Albanese on Sunday will unveil a plan for a Labor government to deliver up to 20,000 extra university places over 2022-23 and fund 465,000 free TAFE places, including 45,000 new ones. The .2 billion “Future Made in Australia Skills Plan ” will be directed at giving support in areas of skills shortages. In his second major policy announcement in two days – the climate plan was announced on Friday – Albanese is both targeting the hard-hit university sector and playing to his central campaign themes of creating jobs and addressing skills .

But Employment Minister Stuart Robert accused Labor of offering less money for skills training than the government as well as restricting university places.


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"So Australians have a right to ask why Labor is cutting funding at a time we need skills the most," Mr Robert said in a statement.

It is estimated nine out of 10 jobs of the future will require a VET qualification or a university degree.

One in four Australian businesses are experiencing critical skills shortages at the same time as there are two million people who are either looking for a job or want to work more hours.

Areas hit by the skills shortage include hospitality and tourism, aged care, disability care, nursing and community services.

There are also gaps in the fields of trades and construction, resources, digital and cyber security, new energy and advanced manufacturing.

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Polls have consistently shown Labor has an edge over the Liberal-National coalition on education and training, and strategists are hoping to make the most of this in the lead-up to the federal election expected in May.

The plan will benefit school leavers, workers wanting to retrain or upskill, and unpaid carers seeking to get back into the workforce.

A $50 million TAFE Technology Fund will improve IT facilities, workshops and laboratories.

Labor education spokeswoman Tanya Plibersek said Australia should be investing more in university.

"This year, the offer rate fell to its lowest level in years. Over 50,000 applicants missed out on the opportunity to go to uni."

Labor will prioritise the new funding for universities which are able to offer additional course areas like clean energy, advanced manufacturing, health and education, or where there are skills shortages.

Priority will also be given to universities targeting under-represented groups like those who are the first in their family to go to university, and people in regional, remote and outer-suburban areas, and Indigenous people.

Albanese hits back after attack on climate .
Anthony Albanese has defended Labor's long-awaited climate policy, despite attacks from his own party as well as the government.Mr Albanese said the party's pledge to cut emissions by 43 per cent by the end of the decade would be fully achievable.

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