Australian vocational education is beset by several big problems that have accumulated and enlarged over decades.
The VET sector is in crisis. Australia must guarantee 70% of VET funding to TAFE, and shut down the VET FEE-HELP scheme.
In the current debate around vocational education and amidst the growing concern about the activities of the private sector, a proposal to extend VET FEE-HELP to lower level VET qualifications has emerged.
There are few propositions on which agreement is more general than the proposition that education is crucial to the development of a prosperous community with a high standard of living.
The announcement by the ALP that it intends to "rebalance" the VET market by allocating guaranteed funding to TAFE is a small but significant step back from the brink for Australian TAFE colleges. When combined with the proposal that an ALP government would develop a national statement collaboratively with the states and territories to define and support TAFE, it is clear that we are witnessing a turn in the tide of TAFEs fortunes. But the battle is not over, and TAFE has not yet been saved.