NSW Upper House inquiry to examine TAFE's future under Smart and Skilled - The Greens - Public Service Association

NSW Upper House inquiry to examine TAFE’s future under Smart and Skilled – The Greens


Greens NSW MP John Kaye welcomed the Legislative Council’s unanimous support for an Upper House inquiry into the vocational education and training sector in NSW.

A motion for an inquiry referral to General Purpose Standing Committee no. 6 was moved by Christian Democrat MP Paul Green yesterday in the NSW Upper House and passed without dissent.

The motion including the terms of reference of the inquiry can be viewed here (and copied below). The committee will be required to report its findings and recommendations to parliament by Tuesday 17 November 2015.

Dr Kaye will be substituting onto the inquiry in place of his Greens colleague David Shoebridge.

Dr Kaye said: “The wide-ranging terms of reference should allow for an inquiry that gets to the bottom of what has happened to TAFE.

“If the other members of the committee cooperate, this will be a much-needed thorough examination of the impact of the Liberal-Nationals government’s Smart and Skilled reforms on TAFE, student fees, the disastrous software enrolment package rollout and cuts to staffing levels and courses.

“The committee will also be able to look at the quality of courses offered by private training providers and their value for both students and industry.

“This will be the first inquiry in NSW to also examine issues around the transition from vocational education to competency-based training.

“TAFE is in a dreadful situation and it is important to look at the causes of the effective privatisation of post-school education.

“Public submissions will be called for shortly. I look forward to hearing the evidence from TAFE students, teachers, staff and about what is really happening in colleges and campuses across NSW.

“It is very important that all political parties are made aware of the impacts of the Federal and state government’s so-called training market on the ability of students to access high quality educational opportunities.

“Crucially, this inquiry will allow students and staff to tell Liberal and National MPs directly about their experiences.

“The Greens are also keen to shine a light on some of the reprehensible tactics of some private training providers looking to make a quick buck from exploiting vulnerable students,” Dr Kaye said.

Inquiry into vocational education and training in New South Wales

Terms of reference

1. That General Purpose Standing Committee No 6 inquire into and report on vocational education and training in New South Wales, and in particular:
(a) the factors influencing student choice about entering the vocational education and training system including:
(i) motivation to study
(ii) choice of course, course location and method of study
(iii) barriers to participation, including students in the non-government education and home schooling sectors
(b) the role played by public and private vocational education providers and industry in:
(i) educational linkages with secondary and higher education
(ii) the development of skills in the New South Wales economy
(iii) the development of opportunities for unemployed people, particularly migrants and persons in the mature workers’ category, to improve themselves and increase their life, education and employment prospects,
(iv) the delivery of services and programs particularly to regional, rural and remote communities
(c) factors affecting the cost of delivery of affordable and accessible vocational education and training, including the influence of the co-contribution funding model on student behaviour and completion rates
(d) the effects of a competitive training market on student access to education, training, skills and pathways to employment, including opportunities and pathways to further education and employment for the most vulnerable in our community including those suffering a disability or severe disadvantage
(e) the level of industry participation in the vocational education and training sector, including the provision of sustainable employment opportunities for graduates, including Competency Based Training and the application of training packages to workforce requirements, and
(f) the Smart and Skilled reforms, including:
(i) alternatives to the Smart and Skilled contestable training market and other funding policies
(ii) the effects of the Smart and Skilled roll out on school based apprenticeships
(g) any other related matter.


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