August 2, 2015

Mike Baird has made history

By Tony Morrissey

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

Historically the State Governments of the 1960’s and even earlier in the 1880’s realised the vital importance of having a skilled workforce and made engineering courses easily affordable and available in the majority TAFE colleges in NSW. The colleges also encouraged people who left school early to go back to TAFE to be retrained or to complete their Higher School Certificate.

As a baby boomer I was encouraged after completing my Electrical Trade Course to do the TAFE Electrical Engineering Certificate (Certificate IV) in the 1970. The course fee was only $26 a year which is equivalent in today`s money is $300. While doing the course I was encouraged by the dedicated TAFE teachers to go on to university. The course gave me the skills, knowledge and desire to complete an Electrical Engineering Degree at UNSW.

Under the Mike Baird TAFE Smart & Skilled program the fee for Certificate IV in engineering has gone up to $20, 000 while the fee to do a trade course is $11,830 and 95% of TAFE colleges are not running Certificate IV in engineering. This hike in TAFE fees has resulted in in a 30,000 drop in student intake in 2015 and consequently the sacking of 2500 TAFE teachers.

Baird Government prefer training option is for young people to seek private providers who are conducting a mass advertising campaign to signed up disadvantage students under pretense that don’t have to paid up front but can access the VETT FEE Help . I was recently contacted by a private provider asking whether I would like to do a course but when I told her that I was 67 years old she hung up. One private provider is offering a course to become a Licensed Builder in 3 months. As revealed in recent current affair program private providers able to offer HEC loans has jumped from 7 in 2008 to 247 in 2014. One private provider enrolled 38,213 students and only 2,058 completed their course

Would it be much better for the economy for the 20% unemployed youth to be trained at TAFE instead of hanging around Centlink looking for a menial jobs or seeking the dole???