The Australian Greens have announced a $1.2 billion TAFE rescue package to prioritise federal spending on revitalising the TAFE system to build Australia's skills future. The Greens are calling on the federal government to overhaul the current VET funding arrangements that have directed billions of dollars to private training providers ahead of TAFEs.
As a nation that cares about the future education of its young people, we should protect our public TAFE system to make sure that everyone can access a quality further education and improve their workforce skills.
TAFE was once the nation's primary provider of vocational education and training (VET). But federal and state governements have slashed TAFE funding and driven competitive tendering policies, where TAFE has been forced to compete with private providers for public funding of its courses. Competitive tendering has been a dismal failure. It has undermined the TAFE system, one of our proudest national educational assets, and has not delivered the skilled workforce Australia needs in strategic skills shortage areas.
The Greens care about the future of TAFE. We want to make sure every Australian can further their education and gain qualifications at a thriving, well-resourced local TAFE college. We want to see TAFE teachers recognised with pay and conditions that reflect their experience and commitment to delivering quality courses.
What do you need to know?
- Critical skills shortages are a looming threat to Australia’s society and economy.
- TAFE funding has been slashed and TAFE is being forced to compete with private providers for public funding. We need to prioritise public funding for TAFE to keep vocational education and training strong.
- TAFE campuses are closing, courses cut, students are in debt to pay rising fees, and teachers are losing their jobs.
- To provide the high-level skills and workforce development so vital to our economic future, the Greens will deliver an extra $400 million per year for TAFE, at an overall cost of $1.2 billion over the forward estimates from 1 July 2014.
- The Greens will protect TAFE’s viability as our leading provider of skills training by ensuring TAFE is the preferred funded provider of courses where it can supply those courses.