My eldest son completed VCE in 2012. At high school, he had vague ideas about becoming an architect like his grandfather, however I suspect this was because he thought it would be a bit like a more sophisticated version of playing with Lego. His real love was building “stuff” not buildings.
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.
Neoliberal policies of economic rationalism have seen increased cuts to spending to TAFE colleges. This bureaucratic belt tightening has been manifested in a number of ways including; reduced teaching hours, cuts to part time jobs and increases to student fees.
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.