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One Nation’s apprentice deal with Government

Friday, 23 March 2018
By Jake Nelson

One Nation will vote for the Turnbull Government’s proposed company tax cuts after a promise from the Government to fund 1000 apprenticeships in private businesses around the country.

The pilot program will see taxpayers fund the apprentices by 75 percent in their first year, decreasing by 25 percent each year until they are fully funded by the employers in their fourth year. It is not yet known how many of these apprenticeships will be for print, but One Nation leader Pauline Hanson (pictured above) has signalled a focus on apprenticeships in rural and regional areas.

Andrew Macaulay, PIAA.

Andrew Macaulay, CEO PIAA, told Print21 he was ‘delighted’ that efforts to secure support for regional apprenticeships had paid off. “Printing Industries has been lobbying very strongly for an increase in vocational training, particularly for regional Australia, and this is something we’re very pleased about,” he said. “The message has resonated – we’ve spoken to a number of One Nation advisors, and clearly they’re supporting the industry.”

Macaulay added that Printing Industries will continue its strategy of pushing for vocational training for print, especially in regional areas. “There’s been a lack of funding and a lack of resources for vocational training in regional Australia, and we’re pleased to see one of the parties picking up the funding issue and driving it forward,” he said.

Senator Doug Cameron.

ALP Senator Doug Cameron, shadow minister for skills and apprenticeships, slammed the deal on the Senate floor, accusing Hanson of using apprentices as a ‘smokescreen to capitulate to the Government’ on the $65 billion company tax cuts, which Labor opposes. “This is an outrageous proposition,” he said.

“Businesses should not be getting paid to put an apprentice on – businesses should be employing apprentices to make sure the future of their company is assured, the skill base for this country is assured, and that we can become internationally competitive.”

Representatives of the Government and One Nation were unavailable for comment.

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