Regional industries 'neglected' in Liberal Government training programs: Scriven

DESERVE BETTER: Labor's Shadow Minister for Regional Development Clare Scriven said regional residents and regional businesses deserve better.
DESERVE BETTER: Labor's Shadow Minister for Regional Development Clare Scriven said regional residents and regional businesses deserve better.

The SA Labor party has suggested that regional industries have been "neglected" in the Marshall Liberal Government's training programs.

Latest official figures show that there has been a 25 per cent decline in training places for key regional industries in the two years the State Government has been in power.

Training places in agriculture and horticulture have declined by 15 per cent compared to the last two years of the Labor Government.

There has also been a 32 per cent decline in meat processing training places, which has resulted in a total combined reduction of more than 25 per cent.

The concerning figures are revealed in the latest report on Apprentices and Trainees from the National Centre for Vocational Education and Training (NCVER).

Labor's Shadow Minister for Regional Development Clare Scriven said that the State Government needs to explain why it is leaving crucial regional industries behind.

"Why is this government ignoring the need for training in regional industries?," she said.

"It is spending $200 million on its Skilling South Australia program, yet training for agriculture, horticulture, conservation and land Management have gone backwards.

"We also know that South Australian meatworks companies are looking for skilled staff, yet training has dropped by a third."

While the COVID-19 pandemic has affected countless businesses across the state, Ms Scriven stated this has been a problem for quite some time.

"This was happening before COVID-19 hit us and means that there are even more challenges than there should be for these industries to access skilled labour now," she said.

"This is yet another proof that the Liberals' claims that #RegionsMatter was nothing more than an election slogan.

"Regional residents and regional businesses deserve better than this."

Shadow Minister for Training and Skills Blair Boyer said the State Government has failed to live up to its election promises of creating additional new apprenticeships.

"We know that the Marshall Liberal Government is failing to meet its election promise of creating an additional 20,800 new apprenticeships within four years," he said

"We know it is behind even the 2016 benchmark measure of 9975 commencements."

Mr Boyer said South Australia needs a State Government that is "upfront and transparent" when it comes to skills and jobs.