Consultation opens on proposed TAFE Bill07-03-2012
Consultation on the proposed Bill to establish TAFE SA as a statutory authority is currently open.
The DFEEST Explanatory Paper and Consultation Document that outlines the content of the proposed Bill is at pains to reassure staff that their terms of employment will not change as a result of this arrangement.
If this is so, then why the change? A key feature of Skills for All is student access to VET FEE-HELP, a HECS-type scheme of income contingent loans for TAFE students undertaking study at Diploma level and above. The Federal Government has required the states to commit to the separation of TAFE from government before access to the student loan scheme can be implemented.
Under VET FEE-HELP the Federal Government bears the cost of tuition, and the student incurs a debt they must repay when their income reaches a certain level (currently about $44,000pa).
It is a way for state governments to access increased federal funding for VET in the short term, but passes a greater share of the cost of training on to the student.
The Draft Bill proposes that current TAFE Act employee appeal provisions against disciplinary action be amended to conform with general public sector provisions.
The DFEEST Paper notes that only three TAFE matters have been referred to the Teachers Appeal Board in the past 13 years.
Members who wish to provide feedback on the Draft TAFE Billshould download the DFEEST Explanatory Paper and Consultation Document and follow the instructions on page 2.