Catholic schools boss says ‘it’s time’ for Class of ’20

Greg Whitby (Parramatta Diocese)

The head of Catholic education in Parramatta has called on government, university and training institutions to work together to cover the cost of the first degree or training course for every year 12 graduate of 2020. Source: Catholic Outlook.

Citing the years of sustained growth that followed the Whitlam government’s decision to make post-school education free in the 1970s, Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta executive director Greg Whitby said “it’s time” for a similar approach to ensure the nation is well equipped to manage the transition out of the COVID-19 economy.

“The year 12 Class of 2020 have had to manage so many roadblocks this year,” Mr Whitby said. “Surely we must be prepared to invest in the skills of our future workforce at a time like this! We’ve been rightly focusing our spending on the jobs, but how about the training and learning end of the equation? This is the perfect moment. Think of it as a gift from the nation.

“For those of us old enough to remember, the social dynamic in Australia was changed forever in the 1970s when the Whitlam government made tertiary education possible for everyone, including kids from Sydney’s western suburbs like me. First in my family to even so much as consider going to university, I scored a scholarship. It set me up for life. The decision transformed the country and set it on a path for decades of growth and prosperity.”

Mr Whitby said the country needs long-term, big-picture thinking so it has at the ready the people and the skills needed to “get the economic band back together” post COVID-19.


Catholic school leader calls for free university and TAFE for the ‘Class of 2020’ (Catholic Outlook

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