Canberra must give Queensland its fair share when it comes to skills funding

Scott Morrison must give Queensland its fair share when it comes to skills funding, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said today.

The Premier said Queensland had rejected the latest national partnership offer from Canberra.

She said the Morrison Government’s offer would not deliver Queensland its fair share and 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 and young people looking to train for the jobs of the future,” she said.

“We’ve tried to negotiate with two Prime Ministers now.

“Both of them have refused to give us our fair share.

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

Training and Skills Development Minister Shannon Fentiman said Queensland had rejected the proposed four-year agreement because it:

· attempts to exercise unprecedented control over Queensland’s training budget,

· shifts an unacceptable level of risk to Queensland and Queensland taxpayers and

· would not deliver guaranteed funding for Queensland’s apprentices and trainees.

“This is not good enough,” Ms Fentiman said.

“Queensland’s economy is growing and modernising.

“We want to make sure our young people have the skills they need so they can work in the jobs of the future.

“Under the plan, much of the federal funding will be derived from a levy on overseas skilled migration visas paid by employers.

“If Queensland businesses are going to pay a levy to Canberra, we want a guarantee about how much of that will come back to Queensland.

“We haven’t got that guarantee.”

Queensland’s 2018–19 Annual Vocational Education and Training Investment Plan has earmarked $777.9 million for training programs, including $202 million for apprentice and trainee training.

The Minister said Queensland had only received a guarantee in 2017–18 for $39.4 million, which would be invested in priority training initiatives.

“We need more from Canberra than that,” Ms Fentiman said.

“That’s why the Premier has written to the Prime Minister to inform him we won’t sign this bad deal for Queensland.”​

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