Teacher shortage snag in Federal Budget’s TAFE offerings plan

The State Government needs to fix the teacher shortage before TAFE NSW will be able to offer the additional fee-free courses funded in the Federal Budget, Federation Deputy Secretary (Post-Schools) Phill Chadwick said.

The extra TAFE places are designed to help address critical skills shortages in a range of industries.

The Perrottet Government must shift to offering attractive salaries and working conditions in order to entice teachers to work in the TAFE system,” Mr Chadwick said.

TAFE NSW does not have the capacity in the teacher workforce at the moment. We had around 17,000 TAFE teachers in 2012 and now there’s about 8000,” he said.

If you think it’s hard to get a plumber, try and get one to teach at TAFE if they have to take a pay cut or are only offered a casual position.”

Members in TAFE will be taking protected industrial action on Wednesday 2 November as part of their campaign for a new enterprise agreement that addresses cost of living pressures, salaries parity with school teachers and the trades and professions they teach, untenable workloads and job security.

Lack of funds for capital improvements
The Federal Government will establish a $50 million TAFE Technology Fund to deliver IT infrastructure, modern workshops, laboratories and telehealth simulators nationally, but this will be inadequate for the capital improvements needed to cater for the additional students.

Ten years of cuts and neglect in TAFE have had their toll,” Mr Chadwick said.