In Scott Morrison‘s latest worksite meet and greet, he chatted to a couple of hardworking welding sparks who leapt at the opportunity to have a face to face with the Prime Minister. Another day, another reason we need more TAFE funding in Australia. Big yikes.
During a trip to the Northern Territory, Australia’s PM took the opportunity to try his hand at something he definitely wasn’t qualified to do (welding, not being the PM — although both are technically true).
While being shown around the welding facility by a worker, Morrison eventually made his way to the welding setup.
“you used to be a tradesman before?”
— Squizz (@SquizzSTK) February 19, 2022
Upon approaching the station, he assured the worker that “I’ve done this before, up in the Hunter … on the tools once again” as per the Daily Mail.
The tradie then asked Morrison if he “used to be a tradesman before?”
To which Morrison replied “Oh, no no no”.
After the stunt, Secretary of the Australian Council of Trade Unions Sally McManus asked the nation’s tradies for their response.
What do the tradies of Australia think of this? pic.twitter.com/3h2cOLZiSt
— Sally McManus (@sallymcmanus) February 19, 2022
Others celebrated the fact that Morrison never chose to pick up a hose because it could’ve ended just as bad as this.
You know what? Maybe it’s a good thing that Scott Morrison doesn’t hold a hose pic.twitter.com/M0yohBsvdc
— John Delmenico (@thebigjohnnyd) February 19, 2022
I think my personal fav is this comparison with Homer Simpson who somehow managed to remember to wear protective gear.
— Jenny Frecklington-Jones #VoteYes ❤️💛🖤 (@JonesHowdareyou) February 19, 2022
A more serious point was made highlighting Morrison’s attitude when it comes to giving trades “a go”.
It’s class snobbery that Morrison thinks he can pick up any trade – hairdressing, welding – and do it for the cameras. Would he take over a surgeon’s scalpel or an accountant’s spreadsheet? So he’s saying anyone can do any trade? These are skilled jobs that require training!
— Victoria Fielding (@DrVicFielding) February 19, 2022
“It’s class snobbery that Morrison thinks he can pick up any trade – hairdressing, welding – and do it for the cameras,” wrote Dr Victoria Fielding (@Vic_Rollinson).
“Would he take over a surgeon’s scalpel or an accountant’s spreadsheet? So he’s saying anyone can do any trade?
“These are skilled jobs that require training!”
It will come as little surprise to anyone that the PM is clueless when it comes to trades.
Recently he floated the idea of getting kids to drive forklifts only a few days after a Victoria man died driving one.
Later, he washed a customers hair in a salon to widespread horror across the nation.
Granted, Morrison might have been in the NT to announce funding for trades education, but the announcement continues a brutal, historical cycle of defunding and then subsequently refunding TAFE programs by the Liberal Party.
It’s kinda like lighting a fire, putting it out yourself, and then claiming that you’re the hero.
A report by the Australian Education Union noted that in 2018, Morrison cut $325 million in funding from TAFE programs across the nation.
The Guardian also reported that since 2014, the Liberal Government have underspent $919 million on vocational education and training programs.
Even The Australian which normally only has good things to say about the Libs has pointed out that there are now 85,000 fewer apprentices across the nation since 2013. This was in response to Morrison’s Skills Minister Stuart Robert‘s claim that “the Morrison Government has delivered the highest number of trade apprentices on record”.
Late last year Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese said that “one in four Australian businesses are experiencing critical skills shortages at the same time there are two million Australians who are either looking for a job or want to work more hours,” as per The Australian.
“While many states and territories have invested in the skills and training sector, the Morrison Government has neglected the backbone of our vocational educational system – public TAFE.”
Morrison is expected to call an election to be held sometime in May.
We’re all praying he hires a professional to weld his campaign signage.