TAFE NEEDS MORE FUNDING
07 Jun 2018
THE HON DR MIKE KELLY AM MP
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR DEFENCE INDUSTRY AND SUPPORT
MEMBER FOR EDEN-MONARO
INVESTMENT NEEDED INTO TAFE SYSTEM
TAFE institutions across Australia have been one of the biggest providers of Vocational education and training (VET) in Australia since 1974, and have created critical pathways to employment in response to industry needs. They are also an important stepping stone to further education for learners in need of alternative pathways.
With new jobs that will come to our region on the back of the Snowy Hydro expansion, a strong TAFE system will provide the skills needed to fill these roles.
TAFE institutions are of particular importance in rural and regional areas such as Eden-Monaro. It is the small rural and regional TAFE’s, such as Queanbeyan, Cooma, Yass, Tumut and Bega, that are critical in providing face to face education and training services, and provide courses that cater to the localised employment market.
In rural and regional communities where people are experiencing social and economic disadvantage, it is the local TAFE that gives students the opportunity to start their post-secondary education while living at home to ease the financial pressure at the beginning of their tertiary education journey.
There is now a consensus that the vocational education and training system is in serious need of review since 2013 there have been over $3 billion taken out of TAFE, skills and apprenticeships, and loss of over 140,000 apprentices and trainees. Some of our smaller TAFE campuses have seen a reduction in courses available, while also seeing an increase in the cost of courses. This will further disadvantage rural and regional communities where the tyranny of distance prevents them from looking at other alternatives.
A strong TAFE system provides skills, knowledge and workforce needs for now, and into the future, which will support a strong Australian economy.
THURSDAY, 7 JUNE 2018