More staff cuts are slated for TAFE this year as the Berejiklian-Barilaro Government continues its ideological assault on state-funded tertiary education.
Treasury documents show that $53.23 million in redundancy and restructuring costs are on the cards this year.
Based on current staffing numbers this could amount to around 600 teachers – or more than a tenth of current academic workforce - being cut across the state’s TAFE network.
The news will deliver another blow to the Illawarra, which has borne the brunt of the cuts over many years, including Dapto Campus being shut down and replaced with a shop front.
The latest Treasury figures – unearthed by the NSW Labor Opposition – show the level of cuts the State Government is inflicting on TAFE are deeper than many feared.
Since 2012 when the Government began its assault on TAFE 5,700 teachers and support staff have been sacked, courses cut and fee hiked by around a quarter, resulting in 175,000 fewer enrolments.
Labor has committed to re-build one of the great institutions of our state and will guarantee at least 70 per cent of vocational education and training funding for TAFE. It will also set up a Private Providers Investigations Unit to target dodgy providers and restore confidence to the vocational education sector.
Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Illawarra Ryan Park:
“Here in the Illawarra we have chronically high youth unemployment and industries that are facing skilled shortages. Now is the time we should be investing in TAFE not cutting it to the bone.
“TAFE has always had a proud history in our region and sadly it is facing death by a thousand cuts under this Government.
“We have already seen Dapto Campus shut down, what’s next?”
“Business and industry in many sectors desperately needs trained and skilled staff but it can’t get them this way.
“Labor is determined to properly fund vocational tertiary education that will equip young people with the skills they need to get a job.”