Full transcript below:
Late last Thursday night while most Australians slept, over 15,000 Australian students were sent text messages telling them their apprenticeships and courses had been suspended. Careers Australia, one of the biggest providers in the country, was placed into sudden voluntary administration, leaving students and 1,000 staff in the lurch and worse. Receiving text messages in the middle of the night telling young apprentices and trainees that they should not show up for work placements and training is totally unacceptable. Early the next morning I received a phone call at my office from Peter, a teacher in refrigeration and air-conditioning at the Careers Australia Salisbury campus in my electorate. Peter was distraught. He was very upset. He had to tell his class of apprentices that they could not finish their course —a course they had paid for—leaving their futures so uncertain.
It is truly heartbreaking that young people in my local area have had their dreams dashed. To make matters even worse, students could end up with massive debts and no qualification to show for it. I call on the Turnbull government to step in to ensure that every single Careers Australia student or apprentice can complete their course at TAFE or some other quality provider. It is extremely important that no student is left worse off by this disaster that occurred on Prime Minister Turnbull's watch. The next Labor government will rebuild confidence in our vocational education sector by again making quality public TAFE the backbone of the system. For the sake of Peter, his colleagues and all the students affected by this terrible situation, we need action and we need these changes now.