Education rallying cry from Donnelly for National TAFE Day
LABOR MLC for Coffs Harbour, Greg Donnelly, has urged the community to come together to celebrate National TAFE Day on Monday.
Studies have found that every dollar invested in TAFE returns benefits worth $6.40 to the NSW economy and Mr Donnelly said NSW TAFE is under serious threat due to unprecedented budget cuts under the Coalition Government.
"Communities across the state have been rallying in support of their local TAFE campuses since the first round of cuts was announced last year," he said.
"We are now seeing three developments intersect in a way that threatens the very viability of TAFE as we know it.
"First, the O'Farrell/Stoner Government is cutting TAFE's funding with $130m being slashed from the budget and 800 teaching and non-teaching jobs to go.
"Second, the Government is trying to use the enterprise bargaining process to replace TAFE teachers with lesser qualified staff, while denying teachers the pay rise already received by most other public servants.
"And third, the so-called Smart And Skilled reforms will see fees increase and funding diverted from TAFE, threatening its role as a provider of vocational and second chance education."
Mr Donnelly said similar reforms in Victoria saw campuses closed, more than 2400 TAFE workers sacked and students forced to pay tens of thousands of dollars for courses previously accessed for a modest cost.
"TAFE plays a critical role as the pre-eminent provider of quality vocational education and training and second chance education.
"The government should commit to increase investment in TAFE and abandon their proposed reforms."