SA’s nursery, gardening and landscaping industries as well horticulture in general in the state will need to look interstate for skilled employees in the future as a result of TAFE closures announced in this week’s state budget.
The State Government announced in this week’s budget that TAFE Urrbrae and six other locations would be closed. At TAFE Urrbrae all the major certificate and diploma courses for horticulture are undertaken, while several of the other sites conduct some of them.
“Gardens, landscaping and horticulture in general are among the strongest growing areas of our state’s economy, so why take away the leading provider of training for the sector?” says acting CEO of the Nursery & Garden Industry of SA, Mr Geoffrey Fuller.
“TAFE is the leading and best provider of skills training for our industry and no alternative location or locations have been announced in the budget so our industry will just have to look interstate for skilled workers in the future.”
“Isn’t it sad that jobs that are being created here in our industry will be lost to South Australians because they cannot get qualifications here in this state,” said Mr Fuller.
“Certainly some private organisations conduct worthy courses, but horticulture courses need equipment and training facilities that are already set up at TAFE sites, not to mention the experience and skills of lecturers. Once gone these will never be replaced.”
NGISA will seek a meeting with the State Government to discuss its intentions and also call in the support of other organisations affected by the decision including the Master Landscapers of SA and the Horticultural Coalition of SA.