Thursday, 13 June 2024

Minister attends the TAFE Departmental Council 11 June 2024

Dear ,

Minister Steve Whan attended the TAFE NSW DC to meet with the delegates and answer some questions regarding contestable funding, security issues, mental health and wellbeing.

The Minister praised the admin staff as the backbone of TAFE NSW and assured them of his support and recognition. He also acknowledged the challenges and opportunities facing TAFE NSW and expressed his commitment to improving the sector.

The Minister discussed the progress of the VET review and assured the group that CPSU NSW will be consulted when the final report is released, and decisions are being made.

Key points which resonated with the delegates included the Minister’s interest in rebuilding the regional presence of TAFE NSW and restoring its role as the heart of the communities and country towns.

The issue of funding Minister Whan acknowledged the challenges faced by TAFE NSW in a competitive market which includes as a part of the VET review recommendations is that cabinet needs to make the decision to remove TAFE NSW from contestable funding, thus providing a single funding envelope and agree on the timing of when it would happen.

Minister Whan at the conclusion of his visit again thanked the delegates for their dedication and passion for their work and encouraged them to keep up the good work.

Minister Whan within his media release today Thursday 13 June outlines his commitment to TAFE NSW and includes:

  • The Minns Labor Government’s investment in vocational education and training: The Minns Labor Government will invest $16.3 million to continue fee-free training for all apprentices and trainees across the State, which will fund more than 20,000 new apprentices and 19,000 trainees.
  • The fee-free program’s benefits for the workforce and the economy: The fee-free program will help build a future workforce in areas such as carpentry, plumbing, electrical, early childhood education, aged care, disability care, and other sectors of the economy. It will also reduce costs for employers and students, and address skills shortages in critical sectors.
  • The Minns Labor Government’s investment in TAFE NSW infrastructure: The Minns Labor Government will invest $190.2 million to undertake urgent repairs at TAFE NSW campuses across the State, which will address chronic underfunding and dilapidated buildings, and update digital devices and Wi-Fi systems.
  • The joint Commonwealth and NSW Government Fee-Free TAFE initiative: The joint initiative has delivered over 156,000 enrolments in vocational education since April 2023, and is part of the Minns Labor Government’s plan to build a better NSW.
  • The Minister for Skills, TAFE and Tertiary Education’s quotes: Steve Whan, the Minister for Skills, TAFE and Tertiary Education, said that the budget demonstrates the Minns Labor Government’s commitment to addressing skills shortages in critical sectors, reducing costs to employers and students, overcoming the shortage of residential accommodation in NSW, and delivering world-class educational facilities.

The CPSU NSW in review of the media release has requested that a meeting is facilitated with the  Minister and delegates to discuss where the money should be spent on repairs so that the sites we believe are of critical concern can be fixed.