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Sunday, 30 June 2013

IT’S OFFICIAL: NAPTHINE’S CUTS GUTTING VICTORIAN TAFE

The $1.2 billion cut from TAFE has devastated the sector with nine percent fewer students enrolling in 2013 than at the same time last year, Bendigo State Members of Parliament, Jacinta Allan and Maree Edwards said.

 The release of the much delayed 2013 Victorian Training Market Quarterly Report is the first analysis of enrolments since the TAFE cuts took effect.

 Ms Edwards said the figures also showed there were fewer enrolments in the courses that the Government had identified as being of ‘greatest public and economic importance’.

 “Whatever Premier Napthine and Skills Minister Peter Hall have tried to do with TAFE, it has failed miserably,” Ms Edwards said.

 “His massive cuts and drastic revamp of the state’s vocational and educational training providers has resulted in nearly 22,000 less people enrolling in TAFE courses, diplomas and apprenticeships.

 “It has hit hard locally as well with 3400 less students in the last 12 months – a 20% decrease.”

 “The Napthine Government’s stated aim in the $300 million a year cuts was to focus the industry to provide graduates that the state’s economy needs – these are the very students that haven’t turned up to study in 2013.

 “This means there are fewer graduates that Victoria desperately needs to help drive economic growth, as well as a massive 17 percent reduction in students starting higher level courses such diplomas.

 “But the tragedy here is that these figures also show that, as we have said all along, the cuts are preventing the most vulnerable from learning a skill to get a job.

 “This report lays it bare – Premier Napthine’s Government has failed in the restructure of TAFE, which is a direct consequence of the massive cuts made in last year’s budget.”

 Ms Allan said Mr Hall had tried to avoid scrutiny over the drop in enrolments.

 “Mr Hall, lucky to survive getting the sack in the recent cabinet reshuffle, sat on these figures until the last day of parliament before the winter break to avoid having to answer to them,” she said.

 “When the media and the Opposition asked why the minister hadn’t released the figures, Mr Hall blamed Labor, blamed the Federal Government, blamed the computer and even blamed the individual TAFEs for not providing the data in time.

 “We know now that Mr Hall was simply hiding under his desk, avoiding scrutiny and afraid to front up to the TAFE disaster he has created,” said Ms Allan.

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