Queensland will miss out on $245 million in desperately-needed federal vocational training funds following a disgraceful move by the Palaszczuk Labor Government.
LNP Shadow Training Minister Fiona Simpson said trainees and apprentices would suffer after Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk refused nearly a quarter of a billion dollars in federal funding.
"Queensland's training industry is in crisis after four years of Labor mismanagement," Ms Simpson said.
"Completion rates have dropped by more than 30 per cent since Palaszczuk was elected in 2015*.
"This year 10,000 fewer Queenslanders completed training than when the Palaszczuk Labor Government was elected.
"The crisis is only worsening under Labor Training Minister Shannon Fentiman – over the last year more than 20,000 students pulled out of training**.
"To turn down the federal funding deal that could have been used to boost investment in apprenticeships and traineeships is appalling.
"As Queensland battles the nation's highest unemployment rate, it is shameful that the Palaszczuk Government refuses to sign-up for federal skills funding.
"Minister Fentiman's comment asking for more money is unbelievable when her tardiness meant Queensland missed out on a $50 million sign-on incentive.
"Furthermore, under her watch Queensland TAFE racked up millions in international travel and hospitality expenses.
"Her priorities should put Queensland students first, not politics.
"Labor governments in Western Australia and the ACT have signed up to the federal funding - there's absolutely no good reason for why Queensland should not have done the same.
"Even Bill Shorten and Federal Labor have stated they'll honour the funding agreement.
"It's beyond belief how far Shannon Fentiman is willing to go to score pathetic political points at the expense of training the next generation of Queenslanders.
"Like her cover-up of TAFE Queensland's $230,641 Commonwealth Games ticket purchase, Minister Fentiman continues to demonstrate that Queensland apprentices and trainees are not a priority for Labor."
*Source: Apprentices and trainees 2018: March quarter https://ncver.edu.au/research-and-statistics/data/all-data/apprentices-and-trainees-2018-march-quarter-data-slicer