||Issue No. 306||12 May 2006|
Interview: Out of the Bedroom
Industrial: Cloak and Dagger
Legal: The Fantasy of Choice
Politics: Labor Pains
Economics: Economics and the Public Purpose
Corporate: House of Horrors
History: Clash Of Cultures
International: Childs Play
Culture: Folk You Mate!
Review: Last Holeproof Hero
The Locker Room
The Real Truth About Independent Contractors
Cozzies Skills Skid
Costello's budget figures reveal spending on training has declined over a year from 0.75 per cent of government expenditure to 0.73 per cent. By 2010 the figure will be 0.67 per cent
This is despite groups as varied as unions, employer advocates and the Reserve Bank barking for more funding for skills.
NSW Teachers Federation Assistant Secretary Phil Bradley said from 1997 to 2004, the Howard Government had dropped its funding by a dollar for each student, for every hour they attended job training.
Bradley said Costello appeared to be blind to the crisis in skills.
"You've even got ACCI, the Reserve Bank, Peter Hendy complaining and the Federal Government seems to be ignoring them all."
Bradley said as 270,000 guest workers had been brought in to Australia over the last ten years, 300,000 Australians were turned away from TAFE.
Australian Industry Group Chair Heather Ridout told ABC radio: "The Budget didn't go far enough in terms of putting more money behind the skills agenda, which is probably, aside from competition, the biggest issue facing Australian industry and business across a broad range of sectors".
The Reserve Bank identified the shortage of skilled workers would raise both inflation and interest rates.
Money For Jam
meanwhile, the Federal government is throwing money to prop up WorkChoices while victims of asbestos and the Ansett collapse have been brushed.
According to budget papers an extra $7.3m to be put aside in the remainder of the 2005-06 year for "education activities to explain the workplace relations reforms", including employer adviser program and seminars announced by workplace relations minister Kevin Andrews.
The Australian Fair Pay Commission will receive $7.7m and the Australian Building and Construction Commission $32.9m for 2006-07, while $1.6 million has been set aside for conducting secret ballots.
Unlawful termination assistance has been allocated $6.3 million.
No allocations have been made to victims of asbestos funding or those affected by the Ansett collapse, despite commitments by the Howard government to fund these prior to the 2004 election.
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