Media Release - Labor Legacy Continues with Opening of Trades Training Centres

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5 May 2015

Labor’s record investment into education and training continues to pay dividends with today’s opening of the Newcastle Catholic Schools Trade Training Centre at St Francis Xavier’s College in Hamilton.

The former Labor Government’s Trade Training Centre program saw more than $1.2 billion invested into Trades Training Centres in schools across Australia. 

Member for Newcastle Sharon Claydon and Member for Charlton Pat Conroy have welcomed the official opening of the centres.

“These centres are a fantastic asset for schools across our community and play a vital role in skilling students as they prepare to move into the workforce or further education,” Ms Claydon said.

“With youth unemployment at record highs, coupled with the government’s savage cuts to vocational education and training, the work of these Trade Training Centres is more important than ever.”

“Labor has always priortised investment in our local schools. In government we invested more than $1 billion into the Trades Training Centre program and delivered record funding to classrooms through the need-based Gonski reforms.”

Despite the vital role these centres are playing the Abbott Liberal Government has slashed $950 million from this program putting vocational training and local jobs at risk.

“Trade Training Centres give students the opportunity to learn job ready skills and keep them in school for longer. Despite the official opening today, the Trade Training Centres at St Paul’s Booragul and Yula Punaal in Morisset have been operational for quite some time, and they are making a difference to the future prospects for local young people,” Member for Charlton, Pat Conroy said.

“Of course this is a program that should be celebrated, but it takes a certain hide to trash a program and slash nearly $1 billion of funding from it, but sing it’s praise when the facilities are opened.”

“There are other local schools that will miss out on the opportunity to build their own Trades Training Centre as a result of the funding cut by this Government and that’s a shame. It’s taking opportunities away from young people and that’s the last thing they should be doing.”

The Trades Training Centre at St Francis Xavier College is part of a cluster of five schools that were awarded $6.8 million by the former Labor Government. Students from St Pius X High School Adamstown, San Clemente High School Mayfield, St Paul’s High School Booragul and St Mary’s High School Gateshead, will have now access to world-class training in agriculture, construction, hairdressing, hospitality and manufacturing. A unique aspect of this cluster was the inclusion, as partners, of the Yula Punaal Centre at Mandalong.

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Authorised by Sharon Claydon MP, 427 Hunter Street Newcastle