The Liberals and Nationals have allowed TAFE in NSW to become a shell of its former self, through campus closures, teacher and staff cuts, as well as sky-rocketing course fees.
In the eight years since they have been office TAFE has seen:
- 175,000 fewer students enrolled
- 5,700 teachers and support staff sacked
- The closure of campuses in Dapto and Qurindi
- Course fees skyrocket by 22 per cent
In 2015 the media revealed the Liberals and Nationals’ secret plan to close TAFE campuses at Epping, Chullora, Scone, Vincentia, Murwillumbah, Corowa, Narrandera and Grenfell.
Shadow Minister for Skills, Prue Car, said: "The Liberals and Nationals have wrecked TAFE and now they have realised that the people of NSW are going to punish them for their ideological campaign.
“This government is trying to talk up TAFE publicly when all along it has cut staff and courses and hiked up fees. It will not wash with the public when they go to the polls next month."
The Liberals and Nationals chose to bolster private providers, over TAFE. A rise in dodgy private providers resulted in thousands of students being left in the lurch.
Labor will offer more than 600,000 fee-free TAFE places over the next decade and will be offered for all certificate level courses in areas where there are skills shortages, such as childcare, aged care, disability care, construction, plumbing and the electrical trades.
Labor’s Free TAFE Plan will once again make TAFE genuinely accessible to all and revitalise the vocational education system in the state.
Labor will also cap the amount of contestable funding for private providers at 30 per cent, and establish a Private Providers Investigations Unit toinvestigate complaints by students, ensure private providers are delivering courses at a high standard, and prevent private providers preying on vulnerable people.
This will cement the role of TAFE as the premier public provider of vocational education and training in NSW.