Monday, 1 October 2012

TAFE funding cuts fail regional communities. The Victorian Govt should put locals first.

It's not only here in Ballarat that a storm is being kicked up within the community over the Baillieu Governments cutting of TAFE funding ... to the point that TAFEs are endangered.  The material below has been placed on the Save our Tafe - Gippsland Facebook site by Sarah Bardsley.

What do the Gippsland TAFE CUTS 
mean for our community?

The Baillieu Government’s cuts to TAFE funding will make it harder for our whole Gippsland community to access quality education and training – both physically and financially.
Many State and Federal government studies have been undertaken on Gippsland, investigating and addressing solutions to combat; unemployment, forecast closures of major employers in the power industry (reskilling people) and on the low level of youth engagement in education at both secondary and post-secondary levels, and on supporting our vulnerable (indigenous, disability and new Australians) with engaging within our community. 
All of these reports talk about the need to engage youth in training and developing a skilled workforce in areas of skills shortages.  Funding for many of these course areas have been significantly cut and are only available if training providers (TAFEs) high fees.  Additionally the recurrent funding that has been cut disadvantages the vulnerable, as there will no longer be services to support them with their studies.
These cuts and the removal of VET training courses in Gippsland, if not reversed, will deliver negative impacts for generations to come, through contributing to greater hardship for our community and for our young people and our vulnerable.  It is likely that inaccessibility to affordable, quality vocation education and training will result in escalating unemployment and disengaged people across our community.
The government keeps saying that they are putting $1.2billion back into training, however this is not for TAFEs this is for all RTO’s – including the private providers - some of whom acted unethically and created the budget blowout that Mr Hall, Mr Baillieu and their colleagues keep talking about. 

Our community deserves this Essential Service!

The FACTS on Gippslands TAFEs:
·         $16.5M cuts have been made to Gippsland’s TAFEs!
·         Significant fee increases for most courses – up to 80%
·         Gippsland’s TAFEs have been misrepresented. 
Mr Peter Hall and other members of the Liberal / Coalition parties have been defending their aggressive cuts to TAFE - a 30% reduction in Government Recurrent Funding – are due to these “massive cost blowouts”.
Mr Hall and his peers have said publically that “Training enrolments increased by 44%, but not always in areas of economic need or with good prospective job outcomes, e.g. courses to train fitness instructors have increased 1,955% since 2008.”
However the State-wide figures misrepresent the actual reality for Gippsland’s TAFEs and the VET sector.

The STATE government’s Victorian Training Market Quarterly Report Q1 2012 from 2008 to 2011, documents a decline in enrolments for Gippsland TAFEs of 5%, this was also mirrored for private RTOs in our region.  And in 2011 Gippsland’s TAFE student enrolments grew by only 2% (Table 2.16, p26) - thus the quoted increases to enrolments have not taken place in our Gippsland region. 

The reasons TAFEs had to cut specific course
is due to the cuts in State funding. A sample is shown below:
Qualification Name
2012-13 Subsidy $
Reduction in Funding $
Certificate II in Process Manufacturing
Certificate III in Hospitality
Diploma of Hospitality
Advanced Diploma of Hospitality
Diploma of Employment Service
Certificate IV in Sport and Recreation
Certificate III in Events
Certificate III in Business Administration, Retail and Business
Diploma of Management and Retail Management
Diploma of Supply Chain and Logistics Management
Diplomas of Business, Business Administration, Human Resources Management and Project Management
Full list is available from the SAVE Our TAFE Community Action Group – Gippsland.

Results of cuts so far
·       100 courses cancelled many in areas of skills shortage as identified by the STATE   and Federal Governments reports*
·       More than 8 campuses closed or to be closed - five are Outreach Centres serving communities that are remote - such as Mallacoota, Orbost, Buchan and local townships of Yarram and Heyfield.
As our public transport is so poor, there are few options for those that don’t drive or are unable to use or own a car – which is the case for many of our young people – who go to TAFE.
·       Over 100 Staff job have been or are about to be lost– which has significant impacts for our communities.

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