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ALP ‘fully engaged’ on VET reform

Friday, 16 November 2018
By Jake Nelson

Engagement: Andrew Macaulay and Tanya Plibersek met to discuss vocational education and training.

Deputy Opposition Leader Tanya Plibersek has met with Andrew Macaulay, CEO of Printing Industries, who says Plibersek gave her support for the need to overhaul vocational education and training (VET).

In a discussion with Plibersek, who also serves as Shadow Minister for Education and Training, Macaulay raised the need to entice school leavers into trade education as well as provide mid-career training to older printers looking to update their skills. “That includes providing a modern, interesting and engaging VET curriculum that students can see value in,” he told Print21. “We also spoke about the need to support apprentices and their employers. We need consistency – we’re talking about a four-year process, and we don’t want goalposts shifting halfway through an apprenticeship.”

According to Macaulay, Plibersek was supportive of the industry’s goals around education. “The Opposition is fully engaged in the need to modernise the delivery of vocational training to make it enticing for school leavers,” he said. “The Deputy Leader has expressed a desire to work with us more closely on this. When we go down this path, we need to make sure that the smaller end of the industry benefits from the training, and she understood that.”

Macaulay stressed the importance of the PIAA remaining apolitical on issues that affect the industry. “We talk to both the Government and the Opposition to advocate industry policy, not party policy. The policies we advocate are policies the industry tells us it needs rather than policies thought up by party wonks.

“At the end of the day the industry depends on apprentices – they bring energy and they’re the future of our workforce, and that’s why this is so important,” he said.

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