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.

The Practice of Freedom

The purpose of an economy is to meet the aspirations of the society it serves, not the other way around.
Fostering innovation: a new role for TAFE

Fostering innovation: a new role for TAFE

Thus far TAFE advocates have lost the argument that TAFE has a vital and distinctive role as the public provider of Australian vocational education and training. The folly of this will be recognised, perhaps in 20 years, when the failures of purely marketised vocational education will be so obvious that they overcome the strong bipartisan ideological commitment to the market.
Reverse evolution

Reverse evolution

This piece was originally printed in The Australian TAFE Teacher magazine which was published prior to the 2013 Federal Election. As such, when John refers to "the next federal election" it does mean the September 2013 Fedral Election.
Why institutions matter; why TAFE matters

Why institutions matter; why TAFE matters

Government ‘reforms’ to TAFE are destroying a key institution that contributes to Australia’s well-being, social cohesion and economic prosperity. The purpose of the changes is to create markets in vocational education and training and to transform TAFE into a commercial provider of services that competes on the same basis as private-for-profit providers.
So here's the thing...

So here's the thing...

I see, in TAFE, all around me, teachers who care, passionately, about what they are doing, are good at what they do, but who face losing their jobs anyway. I’ve seen them at Open Days and Careers Expos, talking earnestly with prospective students and parents, offering good study and career advice, which has satisfied those listening, often leading to a heartfelt “thank you so much!” from those listening. But those teachers might still lose their jobs.
The Future of TAFE - an Interview with Leesa Wheelahan

The Future of TAFE - an Interview with Leesa Wheelahan

Pat Forward: This is a big move for you, but it’ll be a big loss for the Australian TAFE system. You been a big supporter of the TAFE system and you’re also a product of the TAFE system?
Pulling the legs off frogs

Pulling the legs off frogs

Alistair Mant’s 1991 book, Intelligent Leadership introduced the metaphor of a frog and a bicycle to analyse organisational systems. Mant suggested 'bicycle' systems are those whose individual components can be taken apart and put back together without any damage.
TAFE students the big losers as the market agenda rolls on

TAFE students the big losers as the market agenda rolls on

In the last few weeks, there were several stories in the mainstream media which shone a light on the debacle unfolding in the TAFE system in Australia. The Australian ran a story called “Graphic illustration of fee madness” about the escalation of fees for higher level qualifications in TAFE in the ACT - $27,000 for an Advanced Diploma in Graphic Design. It also ran a story about “providers” – public and private - “gaming” the VET system in Victoria by inflating study loads in order to increase government funding.
The most expensive TAFE Course in Australia?

The most expensive TAFE Course in Australia?

This issue came to light recently when my son received a notice from CIT advising him that his debt from semester one of the Diploma of Graphic Design course was $7,128. This prompted a detailed investigation of the fees, and comparison with other course providers.
A TAFE story ...

A TAFE story ...

Today, in my role as a Social Worker I needed to liaise with the head of department at one of our major TAFEs regarding a student who was having a lot of difficulty.