October 22, 2014. MEDIA RELEASE
Thursday morning Greens MP Jamie Parker will introduce a bill to protect TAFE from cuts and privatisation into the lower house. The bill will protect TAFE from budget cuts, rising fees and charges, job losses and an increasingly de-skilled and casual workforce.
The Greens’ bill seeks a moratorium on changes to TAFE which are threatening the very existence of the public provider of vocational education and training. It would stop the ‘Smart and Skilled’ training market, restore TAFE funding and freeze TAFE fees.
The bill was passed by the upper house in June this year.
The objectives of the bill are:
- To secure the future of TAFE as the dominant provider of vocational education and training.
- To provide school leavers, ‘second-chance’ learners and others seeking education and skills training the opportunity to study at TAFE at an affordable cost.
- To protect equity programs and support for students with special needs.
Greens MP Jamie Parker says:
“TAFE provides skills and qualifications for a huge variety of people – and sometimes TAFE is the only opportunity for people to receive education.
“These cuts will make it harder for people to train and thus secure employment. It is simply a money grab from those who can least afford it.
“Cuts to TAFE will be deeply damaging. Economically, this year’s budget cut of $52 million will effect a 20-year loss to the future economy of $332 million. Socially, people will find it more costly – or be prohibited by cost – to train or re-train and enter the workforce.
“Already the cost to TAFE staff has been massive as the TAFE Institute Directors have shed courses and staff in the anticipation of the impacts of ‘Smart and Skilled’.
“I am particularly concerned about TAFEs in my local area. Many constituents have contacted me, concerned about the impact of cuts and privatisation on their courses.
“TAFE in Queensland and Victoria has already been hollowed out and destroyed by policies like that of the Liberal government. This bill aims to protect TAFE in NSW from the same fate,” said Mr Parker.