Communist Party of Australia

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Issue #1579      January 30, 2013

Vic govt’s TAFE cuts cause major drop in enrolments

The Australian Education Union (AEU) has called on the Baillieu government to reinstate the $300 million it cut from the public TAFE sector, following the release of Victorian Centre for Tertiary Admissions (VTAC) figures, which show a 25.8 percent drop in TAFE applications.

The VTAC figures also revealed that at least 170 fewer TAFE courses were available this year.

AEU Victorian branch president Meredith Peace said the Baillieu government’s TAFE cuts are responsible for thousands of students no longer being able to attend TAFE to receive vital skills and qualifications.

“The Baillieu government must be held accountable for their actions and take responsibility for the fact that thousands of Victorians are no longer applying to TAFE due to significant fee increases, campus closures and courses no longer being offered.”

VTAC enrolments represent only a small percentage of total TAFE enrolments and are generally from teenagers and high school students.

This means that thousands of young Victorians who would have considered studying at TAFE are no longer applying and are having their pathways into future employment cut off at an extremely early stage in their lives.

“Over the coming months, we will hear from TAFEs directly about further course closures and a subsequent drop in teaching positions and student enrolments.

“Have no doubt that the carnage caused by the Baillieu government’s cuts will continue. These VTAC figures only scrape the surface.

“The fact that the Baillieu government is quibbling over the accuracy of the data based on its release date shows a brazen disregard for the damage they’ve caused to Victorians who relied on TAFE to receive a quality education.

“The government should be committing to a well-resourced, high quality TAFE sector and encouraging learning, not making it harder for students.

“The government is solely responsible for the dire situation our public TAFEs are in. The only way they can rectify this situation is by reinstating the $300 million they cut without further delay,” Ms Peace said.  

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