Queensland deserves a fair deal for Cairns apprentices and trainees

Scott Morrison must give Queensland its fair share when it comes to skills funding, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said today as Queensland had rejected the latest national partnership offer from Canberra.

She said the Morrison Government’s offer did not guarantee funding for Queensland’s trainees and apprentices.

“My Government will not agree to anything that is not in the best interests of Queenslanders looking to train for the jobs of the future,” she said.

“We’ve tried to negotiate with two Prime Ministers now, and both have refused to give us our fair share.

Queensland Minister for Training and Skills Development Shannon Fentiman is calling on Canberra to do better.

“Queensland and Victoria have turned down the latest national partnership agreement offer because it would not deliver guaranteed funding for apprentices and trainees,” Ms Fentiman said.

“Queensland is bucking the national trend in apprentice and trainee commencements, despite receiving a cut in federal funding of $70 million in 2017/2018.”

“Queenslanders signing up to training and apprenticeships that can take up to four years to complete need long term funding certainty.”

“The Federal Government can’t provide this funding certainty – so we can’t sign.”

“The dismal funding offer from the federal government will put at risk the opportunities for Queenslanders to get the training they need to get a job and grow our economy.”

“We know Cairn’s growing construction and tourism industries will need more skilled Queenslanders to fill future jobs.

Member for Barron River Craig Crawford said this is not a genuine partnership

“The current offer falls well-short of what Queenslanders would expect from Canberra,” Mr Crawford said.

“The deal short changes Queensland.”

Member for Cairns Michael Healy said the government remains committed to ensuring Queenslanders can get a fair deal.

“Training, upskilling and reskilling is vital to Cairns so that we can continue to fill the jobs in our region,” Mr Healy said.

Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt said there is no guarantee of funding from year to year from the Commonwealth.

“They expected Queensland to put our money in and rely on them raising funds from a levy on visas to contribute theirs,” Mr Pitt said.

Minister Fentiman said the Palaszczuk Government have invested a record more than $770 million funding in training and skills in Queensland.

“We want to work with the Commonwealth, but we won’t sign up to a deal that is bad for Queensland,” Minister Fentiman said.

“The agreement attempts to exercise unprecedented control over Queensland’s training budget and without funding certainty it shifts an unacceptable level of risk to our taxpayers.”

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