Latest News

Industry opposes Victorian Government cuts to TAFE

Australian Industry Group chief executive, Innes Willox has highlighted the absurdity of the Victorian State Government's decision to cut $300 million from the Victorian TAFE system when the economy needs more skilled workers.

At a recent National Press Club address, Willox said: "There have been significant changes made to TAFE in Victoria, for instance which have led to closures of dozens of courses at regional TAFE colleges within Victoria.

"It is of significant concern to industry that we won't be able to then drive that skills pool into the future and kids in regional Australia will miss out on opportunities to gain skills and then get into the workforce."

Federal Minister for Skills Senator Chris Evans said the Victorian Government needs to revisit its decision to cut millions of dollars from the Victorian TAFE system.

"These cuts will seriously undermine the national training effort and see many Victorians missing out on getting the training they need to get a job.

"At the very time we need to grow Australia's skill base, the [Victorian State] Government is implementing policies that will reduce training opportunities for Victorians, especially those living in regional areas.

"If the [State] Government does not reverse it's decision, industry will not have the skilled workers it needs to fill the jobs of tomorrow and employers will be forced to rely more and more on skilled foreign workers."

According to Wilcox, the biggest impact on the Victorian training system has been the sudden removal of full service provider funding from the TAFE institutes.

This is not part of the latest COAG agreement but is a budgetary measure specific to the Victorian government. This cut alone slashes $170m per annum from TAFE. These changes together will mean the loss of $290 million from the TAFE system and at least 2,000 jobs, he added.

Full service provider funding enables a range of programs and services to be offered; such as, disability programs and support; indigenous liaison; student support; and maintenance of equipment.

[Image by Pat Scala; reproduced courtesy Sydney Morning Herald.]

Send this to a friend