Unions are calling on the NSW Government to reinstate guaranteed recurrent TAFE funding to reverse the damage of their experimental privatisation policy.

Unions NSW Secretary Mark Lennon said after a week of reports of campus closures, mass staff cuts and increasing private college rorts it’s time to stop the cuts that are debilitating our TAFEs across the state.

“The NSW Liberal Government has effectively privatised TAFE under its – ‘Smart and Skilled’ policy by forcing the public institute to compete for funding with private providers. This has led to skyrocketing course fees and cuts to teacher numbers,” Mr Lennon said.   

Data released yesterday shows extremely high dropout rates driven by private providers recruiting unsuitable students in order to pocket the fees and poor quality teaching resulting in inadequate levels of education and training.

“Our world class TAFE system provides an important pathway to skills and employment for young and old people alike. It allows us to re-skill and gain new qualifications no matter where we are in our working life,” Mr Lennon said. 

“The Baird Government cuts are changing the face of vocational education in NSW. The reality is our ability to gain the skills needed in today’s workforce are being ripped away. This affects everyone in NSW. 

“Education should be a right. It is the responsibility of government to ensure that it is accessible to everyone.

“Unions are calling on the government to cap the amount of funding being stripped from TAFE and handed to private providers and commit to investing in our TAFEs that are proven to provide the quality and education needed for the jobs of the future.”

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