NSW Govt flags Victoria-style dismantling of TAFE - Public Service Association

NSW Govt flags Victoria-style dismantling of TAFE

The NSW Government’s flagged reforms to the TAFE system will undermine quality skills training and lead to a proliferation of shonky private operators, the Community and Public Sector Union warned today.

The Government’s endorsement of measures outlined in the Public Sector Commission of Audit released last week will see TAFE institutes underfunded in favour of private training companies in the name of greater competition.

“The NSW Government is finally showing its true colours on vocational education and training in NSW,” said CPSU Senior Industrial Officer Andrew Holland.

“It is looking at Victoria with great interest with a view to saving a few bucks, at the expense of quality education.

“Victoria has shown us what happens when you mess around with TAFE: you cut access to affordable training; you let down regional communities; you contribute skills shortages; and you roll out the welcome mat for profit-driven shonky private operators.

“We can’t afford to go down that road in NSW,” he said.

The Commission of Audit recommends the 10 TAFE NSW Institutes be required to compete against each other and private providers for students, while hiking course fees to commercial levels.

Education support staff in TAFE Institutes across NSW are currently finalising their enterprise bargaining negotiations with the NSW Government. During this process, the Government hasn’t revealed its true intentions for the sector, said Mr Holland.

“Our members hold deep concerns over their ability to continue providing a quality educational experience to TAFE students, if the government pursues a cost-cutting privatisation agenda.

“We’ll certainly be advocating strongly for TAFE to play a central role in the future of education and training in this state.

“The Government needs to explain how any reform of the system contributes to the skills in our economy and to the quality and accessibility of education in NSW.”

Contact: Ian Lisser  0408 213 339 / Jane Garcia 0434 489 533

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