Federation is pleased to have the opportunity to meet with Premier Mike Baird later this month to discuss the very serious situation in the VET sector and the damage to TAFE, Federation President Maurie Mulheron said during annual conference on Monday.
Annual conference recognised “the situation for the TAFE system in NSW, which has been devastated by the policies of successive federal and state governments over several decades, is dire”.
The contestable funding policies of state and federal governments for vocational education and training dollars have negatively impacted on TAFE NSW’s budget, resulting in job cuts, increased student fees, declining enrolments, reduced course offerings and reduced face-to-face course hours.
In the recent NSW Budget a further $175 million was slashed from the TAFE budget compared to the previous year.
“We have to get to a point where we can have protections around our TAFE system, the universal provider of vocational education and training in this state,” Mr Mulheron said.
In the lead up to the 2015 state election, as a direct result of the Stop TAFE Cuts campaign, the NSW ALP committed to a 70 per cent funding guarantee for TAFE.
Mr Mulheron said the union has to convince other politicians that a 30 per cent cap on contestable funding is important.
“If we can get a cap…then funding to TAFE is guaranteed.