Jaensch cannot do nothing as future of Studentworks hangs in balance

Tasmanian Labor

A 44-year-old educational
institution which acts as an alternative to traditional schooling is in
imminent danger of closing down after funding was slashed by the
Rockliff-Ferguson Government.

The Launceston-based
Studentworks offers high school students industrial workshop programs and
experience but the Education Department has flagged teaching positions will be
withdrawn, government funding will cease effective from today and the school
board has been asked to end operations by the end of the year.

It’s
up to Education Minister Roger Jaensch to step in now before final decisions on
the future of Studentworks are made at a meeting on Monday.

The
decision by government to remove funding will mean that Studentworks has no
option but to stop offering courses and that will fail the students for who
this program is the pathway to reengaging with learning and transition to
employment opportunities.

Minister Jaensch must act to
save the school and the school board has to either accept his funding cut or
fight to reverse the government’s decision.

Studentworks
started operations in 1973 as a work experience program and started running
vocational programs for year nine and 10 students from northern high schools in
1978.

The
program targets students who are disengaged in traditional school environments,
offering workshop and catering
experience so they can gain valuable vocational skills
.

It
has supported Tasmanian students on career pathways and there is no solid
reason for the government to cancel funding.

Minister Jaensch must step in immediately and ensure Studentworks – and the kids who benefit, going on to rewarding careers – has a future.

Michelle O’Byrne MP

Labor Member for Bass

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