Media release: 10 August 2012
The O'Farrell government is intending to break up the TAFE system, increase the reliance of the public provider on commercial 'fee-for-service' courses and reduce non-contact hours for teachers, according to Greens NSW MP John Kaye.
See the NSW Government response to the vocational education and training recommendations in the Final Report of the Commission of Audit, http://j.mp/QhV1SS.
Dr Kaye said: "The O'Farrell government wants to break TAFE apart, compel teachers to take on even more face-to-face hours and force more students to pay the full cost of their training.
"Inevitably the quality of skills in NSW will suffer.
"Increasing the so-called 'productivity' of TAFE teachers in reality means reducing the amount of time for planning lessons, developing new teaching ideas, working with students who are struggling and helping other teachers develop their professional skills.
"The previous Labor government slashed funding per student by 48 percent, while fees and charges went up by 15 percent.
"Now the O'Farrell government wants to squeeze yet more dollars out of TAFE teachers.
"Many young people cannot afford to pay fees and will be denied the ability to improve their skills.
"Breaking TAFE apart into autonomous institutes is the next step towards privatisation.
"The public provider is being carved up into bits that are then to be thrown into competition with low-quality private providers.
"NSW is set to follow the disastrous Victorian model that has seen the public provider's share of students fall below 50 percent and institutes face bankruptcy.
"It is clear that Education Minister Adrian Piccoli has been overruled by Treasury officials and Premier's Department head Chris Eccles.
"Despite the Minister's assurances, the government's response to the Schott commission makes it clear that TAFE is about to be abandoned into a race to the bottom with profit-driven low-quality private providers.
"In the long run, it is the economy of NSW that will suffer as the quality of trades skills inevitably declines.
"The O'Farrell government is also planning further outsourcing of maintenance, operations and in some cases infrastructure ownership at Sydney Water and Hunter Water.
"Saving a few dollars now will inevitably result in rising household bills,declining quality and security of the water supply and thousands of jobs lost," Dr Kaye said.
For more information: John Kaye 0407 195 455