NSW Teachers Federation President Angelo Gavrielatos said the union would take the opportunity presented by the TAFE review to highlight the failed privatisation policies of successive state and federal governments.
“TAFE budgets have been slashed resulting in the loss of thousands of jobs and courses,” Mr Gavrielatos said.
“The race to introduce private providers has been a disaster for students who now face high fees and fewer opportunities to study the full range of courses at their local TAFE.”
“The introduction of an unregulated private sector, chasing profits, has reduced standards in the Vocational Education sector.”
Student enrolments in TAFE decreased by 234,300 between 2012 and 2016 in NSW. The NSW Government ceased reporting student numbers in budget papers and TAFE’s annual report from 2016.
“We have a serious skills shortage for key trades which can only be addressed by reinvesting and reinvigorating TAFE so we can train tradespeople of the future.”
“Returning TAFE to being the preeminent provider of Vocational Education and Training is integral to the state’s future productivity and prosperity.”
Mr Gavrielatos said instead of instituting a HECS-style fee system, TAFE should be free, as any imposition of fees was a serious barrier for poor and disadvantaged students to get the training they need to secure good, well-paying jobs.”