Radio Interview – Skills Training in SA (5AA – Leon Byner)

October 2, 2015


SENATOR DAY: Good morning … here we go again, look it’s 40 years this year since I first started working in the building industry and back then, now I can tell you every tradesperson had an apprentice or a trainee but since then, since then, taking on apprentices has become just too expensive, too complicated, too risky as your caller from Group Training was saying, as you know, because of the expense and complexity and risk trying to get one apprentice at a time into the system as you know young people ring your program and they refer them to me, one at a time …
Yet we’ve got thousands of young people, the critical problem is that young people who want to learn a trade are treated differently to every other young person in the state, if you were a young person who wants to learn to be a nurse, or teacher or journalist or podiatrist, or whatever, you are treated as students, the same as it used to be in the trades, but over time we for some reason have singled out those who want to learn a trade as say no, no, no, you’re not students, you’re employees and what I’ve been trying to get across since entering the Senate and trying to initiate a student build a program so that those who want to learn a trade should be treated no differently to any other and all their friends, their siblings, all other young people, get into learning, you’re a student, you’d be a student builder and then … that would solve the problem.

LEON BYNER: … tell me why aren’t we cos I reckon the public would buy this easy, I do?

SENATOR DAY: of course, I’ve not met one person who objects to the idea … good questions, these things take time to, when well established and well entrenched systems are in place it’s very hard, even when you’re on the inside, even when you’re a Senator and you’re trying to initiate a student builder program, it can take an awful long time, I’ve appeared before bureaucrats and before parliamentary committees and finance ministers and education ministers and training ministers, and no-one can … any reason why we shouldn’t start treating young people who want to learn a trade the same as everyone else, it would solve the problem

LEON BYNER:  Yeah well Bob … we’ve now got a fork in the road where we have investment and infrastructure which is going to require skill, what a tragedy it would be if through ineptitude and ideology we cease to see the wood for the trees and end up forsaking those around us and among us, for those elsewhere because we haven’t taught them anything).