For far too long, TAFE and the broader VET sector has been neglected by State and Federal Liberal governments. The push to privatise essential education services through contestable funding models, and the rampant and systemic rorting through the VET FEE-HELP loans program has bred a lack of confidence in the system.
The future we want is dependent on us successfully defending public education and particularly, defending public Vocational Education & Training - TAFE.
The Australian Labor Party is continuing to work on its proposed Commission of Inquiry, and recently asked for submissions to help consider what the Terms of Reference for this Inquiry should be. The Australian Education Union contributed a substantial submission to this process.
This article is Part One of a Two Part series, and considers the institutional beginnings of TAFE and highlights how TAFE came about and concludes by focusing on TAFES distinctive role.
In this piece Professor Wheelahan takes a closer look at how TAFEs are being funded, and the effects of underfunding.