VET reform must start with TAFE funding boost

The Morrison government must immediately reverse funding cuts to Australia’s TAFE system if it is serious about addressing issues in the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector.

On Wednesday, 28 November Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a review of VET as a way of hiding years of cuts to the sector in the lead up to the next federal election.

Australian Education Union Federal President Correna Haythorpe said that TAFE funding cuts under the Coalition government had created a crisis in the sector.

“Under Coalition governments TAFE funding has been slashed and support for the system has buckled,” Ms Haythorpe said.

“Government funding cuts have left the TAFE sector perilously close to collapse. Overall government funding for the sector has plunged 23 per cent since 2012.The Coalition government cut more than $177 million from the sector in the 2017 budget alone,” Ms Haythorpe said.

“It has also overseen one of the worst examples of rorting in the history of the sector under the failed VET FEE HELP scheme.”

“The first review of Australia’s VET sector in forty years needs to be comprehensive and measured,” Ms Haythorpe said.

“Rushing a half-baked VET review through over Christmas to report in March is a sign of a government that is panicking to have something to say about vocational education in the lead up to the federal election,” Ms Haythorpe said.  

Media contact: Nick Buchan, 0418 288 104

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