Trade training program at risk

LOCAL schools would lose millions in funding under a Coalition plan to cut a Federal trade training program, Page MP Janelle Saffin has warned.

However, Page Nationals candidate Kevin Hogan said the program would be replaced with something that provided the same result for less money.

Ms Saffin said trade training centres worth between $4.5 million and $7.5 million were planned for Lismore and Kyogle to provide trade training for seven local schools.

Under the program, scheduled to start next year, Lismore High, Richmond River High, Wilsons Park and Kadina High were pooling funding to build a $7.5 million centre at Kadina.

Further west, Bonalbo Central, Casino High and Kyogle High would combine to build a $4.5 million centre at Kyogle.

A spokeswoman for Ms Saffin said the centres would provide broader, more school-focused trade training than was available at TAFE colleges.

“These schools could now have their trade training centres taken away, thanks to Tony Abbott’s extreme plan to scrap funding for trades training in local high schools,” Ms Saffin said in a statement.

“Worse still, because the Opposition has also axed the entire trades training program, no other local high school will ever get access to a trade training centre if Tony Abbott is elected Prime Minister.”

Mr Hogan said the Coalition was committed to trade training, but believed it could be done for less than the $230 million the Government was spending on it. He said the Coalition would announce a trade training policy before the election.



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