A new study has warned a loss of industry training funding would be a backwards step for the economy, particularly the export sector.
The Industry Training Federation commissioned study estimates a cut in all public funding of industry training would cost between $1.2 - $3.7 billion per year to the economy in the short-term.
In the long term, the cost could be between $7.2 - $15.1 billion.
The study, carried out by BERL, says the loss of skilled workers would hurt the export sector the most, reducing production and forcing up the cost due to firms competing with a smaller pool of labour.
The Government contributes about $156 million per year and is currently reviewing industry training, which is expected to be completed next year.