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Greens: End competitive VET model to ensure TAFE survival

Media Release
Lee Rhiannon 24 Jul 2014

Responding to figures that government funding to non-TAFE education providers has more than doubled in four years the Australian Greens have called for the competitive VET model to be abolished to ensure the public TAFE system survives.

The Australian Education Union has calculated that payments to non-TAFE providers, as a proportion of Government recurrent funding, was 11 per cent in 2008 and 23.2 per cent in 2012 nationally.

"In Victoria this figure was more alarming with the proportion of government recurring funding going to non-TAFE providers in 2012 more than three times higher compared to 2008, taking it to 41 per cent," said Greens higher education spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon.

"The Coalition government and the Labor opposition must heed TAFE chief Jeff Gunningham's warning that ‘You should be under absolutely no illusion: TAFE as we know it is definitely at risk'.

"The diversion of substantial public funding from TAFE to private training providers under the contestability model is failing TAFE students, teachers, businesses and the community.

"Thousands of TAFE jobs across the country have already been slashed and campuses closed as a result of this privatisation agenda.

"There have been enormous fee increases putting TAFE out of reach for many prospective students and reducing the skill base in our communities.

"It is vital that TAFE's role in providing high quality technical and further education to Australians of all ages and backgrounds and from all communities including regional Australia is maintained and enhanced.

"The Greens are calling for guaranteed funding for public TAFEs," said Senator Lee Rhiannon.

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