In 1990 the Commonwealth and all States and Territories signed up to national competitive neutrality principles, through the Competition Principles Agreement or CPA, which has since been updated and re-affirmed.
The Commonwealth Government has decided that Australia’s young people should be either “learning” or “earning”. Yet the institutions in which they are expected to learn have been under constant attack by state governments. As the Victorian coalition government heads into an election in November, it is timely to look back on their history of cuts to education and the impacts these are having on young people and their families.
TAFE provides students the opportunity to pursue employment opportunities. Surely any responsible government would want people to seek employment instead of relying on welfare benefits therefore any government should support the value of high quality vocational education. TAFE provides students with an opportunity to pursue University level courses.
The best measure of TAFE’s success, is not only the achievements of its graduates, but also their eagerness to credit their success to TAFE. “If it hadn’t been for TAFE…” is a sentence we often hear from TAFE graduates as they share their stories of how TAFE turned their life around, gave them the second chance they needed, or in the case of Adam Moore gave them the education they needed to pursue their dreams.
TAFE changes lives. It is the backbone of communities around Australia. It is a world-class asset. TAFE teachers say these things because they see how TAFE transforms their students’ lives every year. Warren Easterbrook, a teacher at Glendale TAFE, not only sees his students flourish and grow, but is abundantly aware of how TAFE has shaped and supported his family for four generations.