Sunday, 29 May 2016

TAFE NSW calls in McKinsey, meanwhile deaf students lose out

'TAFE NSW has appointed a new tier of 14 general managers, and signed a $1.65 million contract with McKinsey to "comprehensively restructure" before an expected 2018 national takeover of vocational training.
The millions of dollars being poured into head office, at the same time as classes, teaching staff and disability support workers continue to be cut at TAFE campuses, has angered parents and students.'

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2016 Federal Election

This Federal Election, the TAFE Community Alliance seeks a commitment from all political parties to act to ensure that the TAFE system across all states and territories is not run into the ground by continuing to implement the current suite of flawed national policies that have done great damage to our nation’s skills pool, to the quality and reputation of the VET system and, to the lives of so many individuals.

Affordable, accessible, flexible, innovative and deliver value for money adult education

The national TAFE system needs to be affordable, accessible, flexible, innovative and deliver value for money adult education. This cannot be achieved in the highly unpredictable, unstable end evidence-free policy environment that has consumed the VET system in recent years.

New national agreement on skills training

A new national agreement on skills training between all Australian governments is needed. This must recognise and support the irreplaceable role of TAFE in servicing the training needs of industry, regions and local communities. That role spans high level training and workforce development for industries and improved skill and job outcomes for disadvantaged learners and communities.

Contestability and marketization has not delivered!

A government-constructed artificial training market has failed, particularly in outer metropolitan, rural and remote parts of Australia. Contestability and marketization has not delivered. TAFE is still doing the heavy lifting in delivering high quality skills, qualifications and jobs, especially for apprentices who rely so heavily on TAFE because private providers chase higher profits elsewhere.

Touchstone for Quality Training

TAFE remains the national touchstone for quality training. Employers and students have consistently expressed high levels of satisfaction with the quality of TAFE training. Yet, the Federal Government has continued to implement policies that preference private provision, irrespective of quality.

Ongoing National Scandals

Alliance members have been appalled by the continuing national scandals surrounding poorly regulated private training providers and the blatant rip-offs and rorts. These scandals have damaged Australia’s international reputation and its standing as a reliable provider of technical and vocational education and training.

TAFE Community Alliance urge all political parties commit to the following...

  • A quality publicly funded, affordable and accessible TAFE system for the future economy and society.
  • Abandon the current failed VET market funding models and commit to funding the direct and indirect costs of TAFE as the public VET provider.
  • Correct the serious and growing imbalance in funding to VET relative to schools and higher education, and restore funding to VET in line with student enrolments, including increased funding to foundation studies, literacy and numeracy and English language education as national priorities.
  • Effective VET regulation with adequate funding for any national regulator to take decisive action to end rorts and rip-offs under VET FEE-HELP Loan scheme or other funding arrangements and restore community and business confidence in the VET system.
  • Growth in apprenticeships and traineeships to stem the critical decline.
  • A cap on student fees and charges for any VET providers who want access to public funds.
  • A performance audit by the Australian National Audit Office into Commonwealth expenditure in VET, especially in relation to its policy effectiveness, administrative efficiency and whether it has delivered value for money to the Australian taxpayer.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Participation in Tertiary Education in Australia

Young Australians need access to affordable and high quality tertiary education to prepare for jobs of the future.

Whether our tertiary education system can sustain, let alone improve participation levels, should be an important consideration for public policy.
This presentation supporting paper showcases different scenarios of future participation in vocational and higher education in Australia. The forecasts show that governments must take a longer term view about investment in tertiary education, including balancing public and private investment, to sustain and improve participation. By 2030, there will be half a million more 15-24 year olds than today, so participation rates will fall unless enrolments grow significantly.
Increased public and private investment is needed to make sure our  system can meet the needs and aspirations of young people already at school, and the hundreds of thousands who will follow them. The magnitude of the challenge is even greater when taking into account that thousands of older Australians will also turn to tertiary education to refresh their skills and gain new ones. 

Monday, 23 May 2016

TAFE, skills, jobs, and growth for all

In this Federal election, vocational education and training and the future of TAFE is a critical issue.

The Liberal/National parties talk of ‘jobs and growth’ without recognising that if we do not have an effective well-funded TAFE systems, we will be struggling to ensure enough Australian trained workers. The Labor party talks of fairness, and TAFE has always been the educational provider ensuring disadvantaged groups have access to a range of affordable courses. The Greens talk climate change and TAFE has made ‘green skills’ an important part of its work.

Is there a crisis in vocational education and training? Is TAFE’s future in jeopardy?