The AEU welcomes the Andrews Government’s announcement to better privilege Victorian TAFEs for vocational education and training (VET) funding ahead of private providers, a move which will deliver greater funding certainty to public TAFEs. Whilst the Government’s response to the Victorian Vocational Education and Training Funding Review continues the market based contestable funding model, TAFEs position as the preeminent provider of quality skills training in Victoria will be enhanced.
“The Government’s changes to VET funding for 2017 are a necessary step towards delivering on its promise to save TAFE and ensure Victorians can have the opportunity to get high quality vocational education and training, including trade qualifications for apprentices,” said Meredith Peace, president of the Australian Education Union in Victoria.
“Victoria’s TAFEs need serious re-investment. The previous Liberal Government gutted TAFE by cutting $1.2 billion in funding. Victorian communities, and our economy need public TAFEs to deliver educated, skilled graduates who are job-ready.
“These changes to VET funding arrangements will help to prevent dodgy private training providers from wasting taxpayer funds by privileging profit ahead of students and failing to deliver minimum course hours and provide quality skills development.
“Importantly, Victorians in rural and regional areas will benefit from funding arrangements which better acknowledge the importance of ensuring that all Victorians must be able to access TAFE close to their community.
“Following this first phase of reform the Andrews Government needs to continue to rebuild TAFEs by further tightening the funding and regulatory arrangements in a way that secures TAFEs status as the number one quality provider of VET.
“Again and again Victorians have seen that too many private for profit providers cannot be trusted with public money in a contestable funding environment.
“TAFEs should receive 70 percent of all VET funding allocated by the government. Today’s announcement will see more money flowing to public TAFEs, who are trusted to deliver the quality training our students want and need,” said Ms Peace.