Central Coast voters are being reminded of the negative impacts the NSW Coalition's funding cuts to TAFE are having on locals, before they cast their vote in the Gosford by-election on Saturday.
The Liberal-Nationals' Smart and Skilled privatisation policy forces TAFE to compete with private vocational education and training providers for much of its funding — the result being reduced government funding for TAFE.
Reduced funding for courses (per student) — by as much as $1390 — has led to students' face-to-face time with teachers being slashed.
Student fees have increased and assistance to students with disabilities has decreased.
Across Central Coast TAFE campuses, 13.5 teachers, five head teachers, one Outreach coordinator and one Aboriginal circle education officer have lost their jobs.
NSW TAFE Teachers Association President Annette Bennett said: "Voters have an opportunity in this by-election to send a clear message to the NSW Government that a well-funded TAFE system is vital for young job seekers on the Central Coast."
By-elections will also be held for the North Sydney seats of Manly and the North Shore this weekend. Federation will also be asking voters in those electorates to consider TAFE when they vote.