Saturday 22 November 2014
The Greens today announced their moves to limit the damage that the Smart and Skilled training market will do to TAFE.
The Greens first bill to stop Smart and Skilled and freeze the funding of private providers passed the Upper House but failed in the Lower House last week.
The Greens now accept that Smart and Skilled will be a reality for 2015 if the Baird government is re-elected but will be moving to stop it growing as it did in Victoria where TAFE has been residualised to just 27% of student enrolments.
Greens NSW MP John Kaye told the NSW Teachers Federation council meeting this morning that in the new parliament the Greens will move legislation to:
The current round of Smart and Skilled contracts limits the number going to non-TAFE providers but this is the result of an administrative decision, which could be changed at any time.
There is a very real risk that NSW will head down the same disastrous path as Victoria, Queensland and South Australia where TAFE is becoming a minor player in an increasingly competitive vocational education and training market.
Greens NSW MP John Kaye said: “Education Minister Adrian Piccoli appears to have held back pressure from Treasury to decimate TAFE for the 2015 round of allocations of public funding.
“With the Smart and Skilled market going live early in the New Year, he was no doubt able to argue that the Baird-Grant government did not need a bad news story on the eve of an election.
“From 2016 onwards, without the pressure of an election, TAFE in NSW faces the same grim future that has seen the public provider in Victoria relegated to the margins.
“The Greens believe that only legislation that limits the spread of private providers and prohibits profits being made from public funding can secure a future for TAFE.
“Treasury sees TAFE as a sitting target and wants to wipe it out as their Victorian colleagues have done.
“TAFE hangs by a very thin thread. One administrative decision at the end of next year and the system could go into free fall.
“We will be campaigning throughout the 2015 election for legislated protection that saves TAFE from the designs that Treasury has for the future of training in NSW,” Dr Kaye said.