New TAFE model a risky business: union - Public Service Association

New TAFE model a risky business: union

The Community and Public Sector Union, which represents TAFE education support staff, is concerned changes to TAFE course funding announced today, combined with the previously announced job cuts, will compromise the quality of education offered to NSW students.

Community and Public Sector Union, NSW Branch Secretary, John Cahill said there is nothing in today’s announcement to suggest the State Government’s proposed changes will help build a better, more sustainable TAFE system.

“The contestable funding model for TAFE has been a disaster in Victoria, and I’ve seen nothing today that convinces me we will avoid the same pitfalls in NSW,” Mr Cahill said.

“TAFE has been gold standard in NSW vocational education and training for generations – meeting the needs of students and industry. Why should our high-quality education system be thrown into unequal competition with low-quality, cut-rate providers?

“Forced competition and new guidelines for course funding will not increase vocational training for all, it will create ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ among students and reduce  high-quality education options.

“The Government claims TAFE will still be a provider of choice, while it introduces measures that really limit student’s choice – de-funding long-running courses, raising fees, cutting department budgets and slashing 800 jobs.

“The standard of learning will be affected by a reduction in the staff employed to maintain resources and infrastructure such as classrooms, laboratories, equipment and tools.

“We are already seeing a diversion of money away from student services into marketing as TAFE institutes gear up to compete with private providers.

“We have also yet to see how access for low-income and disabled students will be safeguarded under the new model.

“We call on the State Government to consider what’s best for both students and industry by abandoning moves for TAFE privatisation and cutbacks,” he said.


Contact: Andrew Holland 0418 236 867 / Jane Garcia 0434 489 533

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