Students and staff at TAFE should brace themselves for more cuts, more campus sell-offs and a reduction in face-to-face teaching as part of the next stage of destructive ‘reforms’ announced today by the Baird Government.
Hiding behind the cover of an announcement of a new structure, Skills Minister John Barilaro foreshadowed the prospect of yet more TAFE cuts.
Under plans announced today by the Baird Government local TAFE campuses will now operate under a centralised unit in a move that foreshadows a widespread sell-off of campuses across the state.
Administration and teaching staff and budgets are also in line for deep cuts.
More teaching will be conducted online rather than face-to-face, meaning complex trades will be taught via a computer screen rather than in the TAFE workshop.
Bringing all the TAFE institutes under the control of a centralised organisation also denies local campuses the flexibility to offer courses to suit the local population, businesses and industry.
The announcement comes off the back of damning figures in the latest state budget that spell out the destruction of TAFE under the Liberal/National Government:
- 126,000 fewer students enrolled compared against 2012;
- 14,567 fewer students with disabilities enrolled in TAFE compared to the same period;
- 5,200 teachers and support staff sacked since 2012.
Quotes attributable to Shadow Skills Minister Prue Car
“Make no mistake the Baird Government is hell bent on dismantling TAFE."
“This latest announcement shows the extent to which Mike Baird is prepared to go to slowly but surely kill off a well-funded and publicly-owned TAFE and tilt the playing field in favour of the private sector.
“Mike Baird is setting up TAFE to fail.
“Using the cover of a restructure, the Baird Government is paving the way for a wholesale move away from bricks and mortar to teaching more courses online. Your local TAFE is as good as gone.
“Under Mike Baird we have seen teachers sacked, enrolments plummet, and now campuses are set to be closed and sold off to developers.”
Quotes attributable to Jo Haylen, Member for Summer Hill
“Just when we thought the Baird Government couldn’t make deeper cuts, here we have a job-destroying consolidation of TAFE across NSW.
“The impact of Baird’s cuts are being felt here in the inner west – we’ve already lost Petersham West St campus by stealth and residents are right to fear for the future of Enmore and other TAFE campuses across Sydney.
“This Government doesn’t care about public education or TAFE jobs and it’s clear their cuts won’t stop."