The Greens today launched in the Waratah Room in NSW Parliament House their bill to stop TAFE becoming the victim of budget cuts, rising fees, job losses and a training market that will privatise skills training.
Greens NSW MP and Education spokesperson John Kaye said: “TAFE has been driven to the brink of collapse.
“Public provision of vocational education and training is already facing budget cuts of $800 million, soaring fees, cancelled course and hundreds of TAFE educators sacked.
“In early 2015 the new Smart and Skilled market will force TAFE to compete for students and funding with low quality, low cost private providers.
“Under a deal with the previous Federal Labor government, NSW is about to implement a skills training market that will inevitably result in TAFE either disappearing or being forced to cut its standards to meet the private sector’s lower costs.
“Disadvantaged students, those with special needs, people from non-English speaking backgrounds, the long-term unemployed and women who have been out of the workforce will be the hardest hit.
“Outreach and equity programs will become add-ons that are unlikely to survive.
“Our bill is designed to put a hold on TAFE budget cuts, job losses, fee rises and the Smart and Skilled market. We want to give the O’Farrell government time to think again.
“Without a strong public provider of vocational education and training, NSW will face rising youth unemployment, increasing levels of inequality and disadvantage and an economy that is unable to grow.
“The O’Farrell government must drop the ideology of training markets and ensure a strong future for public TAFE.
“Cuts to TAFE are not smart but irresponsible because courses will cost more and many people will not be able to afford to gain vocational skills.
“Privatising our public education does not make sense. We need TAFE now more than ever,” Dr Kaye said.
For more information: John Kaye 0407 195 455
State and federal governments, both Labor and Coalition, have driven TAFE to the brink of collapse, despite the massive economic and social benefits of publicly provided vocational education and training.
The Greens TAFE Changes Moratorium (Secure Future for Public Provision of Vocational Education and Training) Bill 2013 will be introduced into the NSW parliament in the next fortnight and aims to:
- restore TAFE funding by reversing massive budget cuts,
- stop rising fees and job losses, and
- freeze the O’Farrell government’s aggressive Smart and Skilled market that would create a race to the bottom with low cost, low quality private providers.
The bill is expected to be introduced into parliament in November.
Copies of the bill and other campaign materials are available on request.
Students are spending more time cleaning and stocking storerooms and less time learning under TAFE budget cuts which have slashed support staff numbers, according to the NSW Public Service Association.
The PSA supports the launch of a Bill today aimed at reversing TAFE budget cuts, losses of more than 800 jobs and fee increases of up to 9.5%.
General Secretary Anne Gardiner said the proposed cuts would not deliver better education outcomes for students and risks dismantling TAFE NSW’s gold standard of vocational education.
“The State government’s attack on TAFE funding and jobs will increase skills shortages in areas vital to the economy and impact on the long-term economic wellbeing of NSW,” Ms Gardiner said today.
“The O’Farrell government cannot claim it wants a ‘smart and skilled’ workforce then introduce cuts that will pull apart the best system we have to deliver vocational education.
“Our members tell us that cutbacks are already reducing students’ access to learning support services, including lack of IT and technical support and maintenance of classrooms and laboratories.
“There have also been cuts in student support roles designed to assist vulnerable and disadvantaged students gain TAFE qualifications, such as disability support staff, library staff and jobs providing counselling and student welfare support.
“In addition to hundreds of job cuts, more staff will be forced into insecure part-time and casual work positions.
“The full extent of the damage to TAFE will unfold over coming years but what’s certain is the damage will be difficult, if not impossible, to reverse.
“The NSW government should reverse budget and job cuts to TAFE NSW and stop placing obstacles in the way of students who want the skills needed for better job opportunities,” Ms Gardiner said.
- S Admin on VOTE NO TO THE ADMINISTRATIVE AND SUPPORT EMPLOYEES ENTERPRISE AGREEMENT
- tafe staff on TAFE VOTE NO PHOTOS
- Staff Union Member on TAFE VOTE NO PHOTOS
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- TAFE Admin Staff on VOTE NO TO THE ADMINISTRATIVE AND SUPPORT EMPLOYEES ENTERPRISE AGREEMENT