While the future of thousands of Australian vocational training and education (VET) students remain uncertain, today’s National TAFE Day reminds students, educators and the community that the Federal Government needs to do more to secure funding for Australia’s public TAFEs.
Pat Forward, Australian Education Union TAFE Secretary said the future of public TAFEs remain at risk while governments refuse to make commitments to secure public funding to public TAFE institutes, and that recent examples of systemic failures are proof the Turnbull Government needs to take immediate action.
“Australians trust our public TAFEs, yet in recent years we’ve seen the future skills of our students at risk as successive governments have failed to secure public funding for quality TAFE programs,” said Ms Forward.
“The current VET funding system is broken. It lines the pockets of unscrupulous private providers while the future employment of thousands of our students is in question.
“Every year, private providers are paid billions of taxpayers’ dollars while Australian students are left with thousands of dollars’ worth of debt and with substandard qualifications. The Turnbull Government needs to step up now and guarantee 70 per cent of public funds will be used to fund our trusted public TAFEs.
“The recent example resulting in 20,000 students being turned away from courses by Careers Australia with no indication about how they would be able to complete their courses, is only one of the many tragic stories of exploitation among private training providers who take advantage of the flawed funding system.
“The Turnbull Government must accept responsibility for the failure in policy and take immediate action to secure public funding for public TAFEs – only TAFEs can guarantee quality programs that will make Australians job ready into the future.
“What else needs to happen to our VET students before the Government will act? Our students and apprentices deserve certainty and the Government must deliver it.
“Many private providers have been caught out doing the wrong thing time and time again while they make their profits off the back of taxpayers and students.
“On National TAFE Day, Prime Minister Turnbull and every Australian Premier must fight for the skills of our future and commit to properly funding Australia’s TAFES.
“We urge the Turnbull Government and state governments to guarantee 70 per cent of public funds to public TAFEs and secure the future skills of our nation,” said Ms Forward.