Crisis in TAFE

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5 February 2018

The Senate Inquiry into SA TAFE is symptomatic of the ad hoc approach to policy in TAFE being pursued by governments across the country. The crisis in TAFE can only be addressed if governments commit additional funding to the sector, and guarantee minimum funding to TAFE.

The recently released Productivity Commission’s Report on Government Services shows funding for TAFE and VET has declined by more than 15 per cent since 2007. In SA, funding has dropped by more than 18 per cent in the same time. There must be a comprehensive, systematic, public and open review of the TAFE system that involves Federal, State and Territory governments, and which considers funding and financing, curriculum, pedagogy, assessment, standards and quality assurance.

An immediate first step for all governments must be to guarantee a minimum 70 per cent of all government funding to TAFE, but this must be set in the context of an urgent restoration of funding at least to pre market reform levels. The current student loans scheme continues to damage the sector, and students. The scheme must be abandoned, and public funding for courses and qualifications restored. Only this will address the crisis in the sector, and restore confidence in its capacity.

You can read the AEU’s submission to the Senate Inquiry into SA TAFE here.