16 October 2014
The NSW Liberal National Government has today voted against a bill that would have seen soaring TAFE fees capped at the current levels.
NSW Labor who has introduced the bill said this was a clear indication that under a Liberal National Government the future of TAFE is under serious threat.
Today was an opportunity for our local Liberal representatives to fight for their residents who attend one of the many TAFE campuses across the Illawarra. Lee Evans and Gareth Ward failed to support their community.
These local Liberal MP’s have supported massive fee increases and voted to make vocational education out of reach for future generations. They have already ripped millions of dollars out of the TAFE system and axed over 1100 teachers and staff. They should hand their heads in shame.
Youth unemployment in the Illawarra has long been significantly higher than the rest of the State with it currently sitting at 16.5% (15-24 year old).
From next year students are facing fees that are dramatically increased and many of them will simply not be able to afford to attend. That means inevitably we will see our youth unemployment continue to rise thanks to this Government.
One of the best ways to tackle this issue is through easy access to education and training and TAFE has a key role to play in this area.
Labor is committed to ensuring every student had access to affordable education and that a key election commitment was to abolish the Coalitions market-based vocational training system.
According to Mike Baird’s own budget, they project 23,000 fewer students will be enrolled in TAFE next year.
This is because they have introduced massive increases to fees. A 2-year Diploma of Electrical Engineering currently costs $3,038 - but under the Liberal Governments system, the same course will cost $8,190.
A Certificate III non-apprentice bricklayer currently costs students $838. But as of 1 January 2015 under Mike Baird’s system it will cost $3,550.
This Government has made their intentions clear today, they do not support TAFE and they do not support vocational education.