Shadow Treasurer Curtis Pitt says the Newman Government is continuing to fail in its promise to create enough jobs to have Queensland heading for a four per cent jobless rate over six years.
“Its failure is being compounded by its neglect of skills training as evidence by the loss of at least 20 jobs at the Tropical North Queensland TAFE in Cairns,” Mr Pitt said.
“The ABS unemployment figures for September show 14,300 more people in the jobless queue since the March 2012 state election.
“Plus our state’s jobless rate of 5.9% seasonally adjusted is still hovering around the levels not seen since the Global Financial Crisis.
“The rate is also much higher than the 5.5% the LNP inherited from the former Labor Government.
“The Newman Government promised to have Queensland tracking to four per cent unemployment in six years which means they needed to create around 200 jobs a day, but we are still going backwards.”
Mr Pitt said one of the blanks in discussions of the Queensland Plan this week had been the provision of skills training to meet future labour market needs.
“Unfortunately the Newman Government has slashed programs such as Skilling Queenslanders for Work and is also scaling back its efforts in the TAFE sector,” he said.
“In 2013-14 the Newman Government will be spending almost $44 million less on vocational education and training than it did in 2012-13.
“I understand the Tropical North Queensland TAFE has confirmed it will cut at least 20 teaching positions and will be dropping a number of courses.
“I want to see the details of these cuts because the last thing we need when the jobless rate remains so high is for young people, and older unemployed, to have the door slammed on them if they seek to secure new skills to gain new jobs.
“If we are to develop a long-term plan for our state we must consider the skills we may need in the next 30 years while remaining flexible enough to meet the demands of new industries as they emerge,” he said.