13 September, 2017

Does your MP support guaranteed funding for TAFE

By the Stop TAFE Cuts Team

The TAFE sector is the lowest funded education sector and funding has declined by more than 24% since 2008. As privatization of the sector has increased, and as more and more government funding has gone to private for profit providers, fees have escalated - by more than 245% (from $4060 in 2009 to $14,018 in 2015.)

The Stop TAFE Cuts campaign has campaigned against government funding going to an untrustworthy private for-profit sector, and have argued that the only way we can rebuild TAFE and secure its future is to guarantee a minimum 70% government funding to TAFE colleges.

In a significant step forward for the campaign, the ALP federally has announced a guarantee of at least two thirds of public vocational education funding for TAFE, and an additional $637.6 million invested into TAFE and vocational education – reversing the government’s 2017 cuts in full.

We believe the Federal Government should match – and improve – Labor’s commitment. But the Turnbull Government offers little hope for TAFE. The 2017 Federal Budget cut spending on vocational education by 9.7% over the next year. Spending on vocational education will be $70 million lower in 2020/21 than it was in 2016/17.

We want all politicians who support TAFE to sign the guaranteed funding pledge. A minimum 70% or two thirds of VET funding will secure TAFE’s future.

To do this, we are asking supporters around the country to make an appointment with their local MPs (state or federal) and ask them to sign our funding guarantee poster, and take a photo.

Because TAFE funding is both a federal and state issue, we want politicians at all levels to sign the guarantee. So you can approach Federal or State politicians, from the upper or lower houses, and from any political party.

All you need to do is organise a meeting with your local politician, take a copy of our funding guarantee poster and ask them to sign it. If they do, make sure to take a quick photo of them holding the poster so we can add it to the gallery of supportive politicians on our website.

Everything you need to get involved in this activity is available on our website.

Our first week of this campaign has been a great success with 10 politicians signing our guarantee.

Thanks to Senator Doug Cameron, Senator Lee Rhiannon, Prue Car, Anna Watson, Tim Crakanthorp, Shaoquett Moselmane, Greg Warren, Guy Zangari, Julia Finn, Ernest Wong, Yasmin Catley, David Harris, Liesl Tesch, David Mehan, Jenny Aitchison, Jodi McKay, Jihad Dib, Trish Doyle and Jo Haylen for getting involved.

Guaranteed funding would give Australia’s TAFE institutions certainty into the future.

We need your help to get the commitment of your local representatives.

Brendan's story

Brendan's story

Growing up in the foster care system led Brendan Murray down a rocky education and employment path for many years. He knows first-hand the value of being a second chance learner and strongly advocates TAFE as a place of opportunity for all ages.
Women, work and poor pay

Women, work and poor pay

At the recent Women in Adult and Vocational Education (WAVE) Conference, Professor Erica Smith posed the question: Do women have to be Rosie the Riveter to get access to training? Rosie the Riveter appeared in an iconic 1940’s propaganda poster, representing women who worked in US factories and shipyards, while the male workforce served in World War II. Rosie has since become a feminist icon, denoting women’s strength, independence and capacity to break down barriers.
New voices question the concept of student choice

New voices question the concept of student choice

New voices are emerging in the national debate about the direction of VET and the future of TAFE, and these voices provide some hope for those people who have been concerned over the last four to five years about the simplistic arguments used by the supporters of “market design”.
It's not just about jobs

It's not just about jobs

Australia, like many Western education systems, places a strong emphasis on completing school and gaining skills for the workplace.
VET FEE-HELP: A Lifetime of Debt

VET FEE-HELP: A Lifetime of Debt

In the current debate around vocational education and amidst the growing concern about the activities of the private sector, a proposal to extend VET FEE-HELP to lower level VET qualifications has emerged.
TAFE, Equality and Democracy

TAFE, Equality and Democracy

TAFE is a beacon of hope and opportunity for the client base of the National Welfare Rights Network. The attempted dismantling of TAFE by conservative governments must be resisted if we are to maintain a society which is founded on equality and opportunity.
For-profit education is a proven failure

For-profit education is a proven failure

There are few propositions on which agreement is more general than the proposition that education is crucial to the development of a prosperous community with a high standard of living.
Mike Baird has made history

Mike Baird has made history

Mike Baird is the first NSW Premier to record a budget surplus of $2.1 billion and already has a legacy of destroying TAFE in favor of supporting private providers who are running to bank depositing tax payers Federal Government VET FEE Help monies.
A Commonwealth takeover of VET would destroy the public TAFE system

A Commonwealth takeover of VET would destroy the public TAFE system

A Commonwealth takeover of vocational education in Australia would see the ultimate triumph of the privatization agenda, and the destruction of the public TAFE system.
First step back from the brink

First step back from the brink

The announcement by the ALP that it intends to "rebalance" the VET market by allocating guaranteed funding to TAFE is a small but significant step back from the brink for Australian TAFE colleges. When combined with the proposal that an ALP government would develop a national statement collaboratively with the states and territories to define and support TAFE, it is clear that we are witnessing a turn in the tide of TAFEs fortunes. But the battle is not over, and TAFE has not yet been saved.