AEU welcomes South Australia’s reinvestment in public TAFE

11 March 2018

The Australian Education Union welcomes the South Australian Government’s announcement this morning that it will increase funding for vocational education and skills by $100 million, and calls on the Federal Government to reinvest in public vocational education.

“Only public TAFE can deliver the high-quality skills that employers want,” said Correna Haythorpe president of the Australian Education Union.

“Today’s announcement puts TAFE squarely at the centre of South Australia’s vocational education system. This important investment will create at least 18,000 accredited training places and greater certainty and opportunity for students and teaching staff.

“The South Australian Government has guaranteed at least seventy percent of funding to public TAFE. If Malcolm Turnbull is serious about high quality vocational education and training he must also cap the funds available to dodgy private training providers and guarantee at least seventy percent of public funding to public TAFE.

“To build a stable, high quality national TAFE system, seventy percent of funding for skills and training must go to public TAFE. TAFE must be the bedrock of our vocational education and training sector because TAFE puts students first.

“We welcome the South Australian Government’s focus on retraining and re-skilling workers. We also welcome the commitment to work with industry and social partners to make sure the TAFE system aligns with industry needs.

“Investing in vocational training strengthens our economy and delivers opportunities for many young people and workers reskilling mid-career.

“The Federal Government should also be taking a long-term view and planning to meet demand in growing industries. Federal Labor has promised at least two thirds of public funding for public TAFE. The Turnbull Government must do the same.

“Employers trust public TAFEs to deliver work-ready graduates because they know students have been educated by qualified and experienced TAFE teachers. TAFEs must be at the heart of our national vocational education and skills system,” said Ms Haythorpe.

“Our members in South Australia have been campaigning to ensure that we have a strong viable TAFE system through our ‘Respect’ campaign. Today’s commitment from the Government is very welcome news,” said Howard Spreadbury, South Australian president of the Australian Education Union.

“Steven Marshall and the South Australian Liberals would fully privatise our training system, leaving big corporate training providers syphoning millions off taxpayer dollars and ripping-off students. The private skills and training model has failed. Only public vocational education will deliver for South Australia’s future,” said Mr Spreadbury.

Media Contact: Rosina Rayns 0401 991 792