Tough times ahead for TAFE12-08-2011
Recent announcements both at a state and federal level have set the scene for the most radical overhaul of the VET system in living memory.
Whilst it is easy to lay the blame at the Federal Government and the new funding arrangements which require the states to move to a fully contestable funding market and a range of other measures, state governments are not resisting the introduction of these reforms.
South Australia has now "rolled over" with the Skills for All proposals that will see TAFESA separated from DFEEST as a statutory authority.
What this will eventually look like is anybody's guess; the government is yet to draft the legislation to enable them to go down this path. What is certain is that we will inevitably see a new TAFE Act with different employment arrangements.
Staff are already feeling the pressure from managers to "be more productive" with pressure to teach to the 24 hours per week limit, and to work "smarter" which often means pushing students through courses faster.
Tragically, quality teaching and quality outcomes, the very thing that TAFE prides itself on, are at risk. Yet in a contestable market it is that badge of quality which will ensure TAFE's survival.