On Wednesday, 25 October 2022, the Federal Budget was handed down. The trade industry featured heavily in the Budget and discussions after.
The Labor Government has pledged to deliver 480,000 fee-free TAFE and community-based vocational education places over 4 years, starting with a $1 billion agreement with the state and territories to provide 180,000 places n 2023.
This will affect those currently undertaking or looking to undertake bakery and pastrycook apprenticeships and TAFE courses in the future.
Labor treasurer Dr Jim Chalmers MP addressed these points in his budget speech on 25 October.
“…this Budget builds a strong economy—more resilient, more inclusive, more modern,” he said.
“Together with the states and territories, we are making a $1 billion investment in fee-free TAFE and vocational education places.”
The Treasurer went on to say, “Providing 180,000 places next year—the first stage in our plan for nearly half a million fee-free TAFE courses for Australians—learning skills for jobs in priority areas…”
The government’s plan for skilled workers and training follows on from the Australian Apprenticeships Incentive System, which was implemented in July this year.
It was also reinforced by Dr Chalmers on 26 October during an address to the National Press Club in Parliament House.
He said, “That’s the approach we took last night… Making sure more people can get a trade or other vocational training—because the jobs are there, and more are coming, but the skilled workers aren’t.”
CEO of Ordermentum, Australia’s largest wholesale online order management platform for the nation’s food and beverage industry, Adam Theobald said of the budget, “With aspects of the cost of living crisis and the skills shortage being addressed in this year’s federal budget, we can only hope that with some relief, support will trickle down to the hospitality industry because it desperately needs it.”
“Without the support of R&D, Australia may be disadvantaged in such a capital restrained environment. Continued investment in building tech skills in the country, and to support small and large businesses to adopt digital processes, is key to taking the hospitality industry into the future – so while addressing the skills shortage is encouraging, we’ve still had no answers to the labour shortage crisis that we’ve been facing for several years,” Adam continued.
“We need to open visas and get labour going again. We need to be over-investing in hospitality to get it back on its feet and thriving again, and unfortunately this budget misses the mark,” concluded Adam.
What will come of this Budget remains to be seen, but the government maintains that big things are in the works.