After years of cost cutting, rising fees, privatised training and job losses, TAFE needs an urgent plan to safeguard its future.
Member for Balmain Jamie Parker MP will host a public meeting tomorrow to launch the Greens’ plan to save TAFE, with a particular focus on local institutions Ultimo TAFE, Petersham TAFE and the Sydney Institute:
When: 6:00-7:30 pm Tuesday 25 February
Where: Leichhardt Town Hall – Corner of Marion and Norton Streets
Speakers: NSW Teachers Federation, Maurie Mulheron
Australian Education Union, Pat Forward
TAFE Community Alliance, Linda Simon
Public Service Association, Andrew Holland
Greens MP and education spokesperson, John Kaye
To secure TAFE's future, Mr Parker and Dr Kaye will introduce the TAFE Changes Moratorium (Secure Future for Public Provision of Vocational Education and Training) Bill 2013 into the NSW Parliament later this month that aims to:
- freeze funding to private providers at appropriate levels
- reverse rising fees for students, and
- immediately stop the Liberal/National state government's aggressive Smart and Skilled market that will force TAFE into a race to the bottom with low cost, low quality private providers.
Greens MP Jamie Parker said:
"State and Federal Labor and Liberal governments have driven TAFE to the brink of collapse. TAFE students are being asked to pay more in order to receive less. Class sizes will rise, the range of courses will be reduced and time to help individual students will all but disappear.
"Local TAFE students are already being seriously impacted by cuts to Sydney Institute. According to figures requested by the Greens, Sydney Institute saw the removal of at least 66 full time permanent equivalent staff in 2013, including 55 teachers.
"The Greens exposed Sydney Institute's plans to shed staff and delete courses in its Work and Studies Pathways faculty to prepare for the impacts of the Liberal government's Smart and Skilled competitive training market.
"Under the proposed 'reforms', core-funded places which account for 87 percent of current faculty enrolments would be replaced by training entitlements that will be available to only 23.5 percent of current students.
"Foundation Studies have been hardest hit. It appears that the HSC will no longer be offered at Ultimo TAFE.
“This year Ultimo TAFE has lost teachers in commercial cookery, IT, English as a second language, foundation studies (especially in science) and migrant education consultants.
"Cuts to fine arts courses will devastate the creative and culturally vibrant art scene in the Inner West,” Mr Parker said.
Dr Kaye said:
"Both Labor and the Liberal/National Coalition have pursued budget cuts and privatisation despite the massive economic and social benefits of publicly provided vocational education and training.
"The devastation of prevocational and basic education programs at Sydney Institute is just the beginning of the damage the O'Farrell government's competitive market will inflict on TAFE and the future of the state.
"The O’Farrell government's $800 million budget cuts and its determination to force TAFE into unwinnable competition with low quality, low cost private providers are threatening TAFE’s ability to provide for the needs of the Balmain community and for NSW.
"Institutes across the state are shedding staff, closing courses, reducing face-to-face teaching hours and support services and increasing student fees.
"The Greens bill is designed to put a hold on TAFE budget cuts, job losses, fee rises and the Smart and Skilled agenda. We want to give the O'Farrell government time to think again," Dr Kaye said.
February 14, 2014 at 12pm