Marshall slashing TAFE courses at the same time as Feds announce billions in vocational education and training

AEU SA Branch media release: Wednesday 12 May 2021

The Australian Education Union says Premier Steven Marshall is cutting TAFE courses at the exact same time the Federal Government has announced $2.7bn for new apprenticeships and traineeships to help get young people into jobs.

SA Branch President Lara Golding says the Federal Government has recognised Australia is facing a skills shortage and has put up billions of dollars for skills training for 450,000 new training places across the country, but hasn’t guaranteed any of that funding for TAFE.

“How does it make sense that the very place in SA that provides this training is cutting courses and opportunities for young people to get the skills they need?

“We desperately need skilled workers in childcare, aged care and mental health – some of the exact courses that are being cut.

“The Premier should pick up the phone and talk to Treasurer Josh Frydenberg to negotiate some of that funding for TAFE instead of planning to cut more courses.

“And he should also remember that childcare, aged care and mental health are predominantly filled by women workers – and women vote.”

Ms Golding says TAFE staff are continuing to hear rumours that the Marshall Government is planning to cut up to 39 more courses, including dental health, rural operations, counselling and work health and safety.

“It’s clear that the quality of training falls when these courses are privatised.

“TAFE’s Chief Executive David Colton has himself admitted that industries have raised concerns with TAFE about the quality of some of the private training businesses which will take over some of the courses TAFE has cut.

“We call on the Premier to abandon these planned cuts and start to invest in local, publicly funded vocational education for South Australians at TAFE.”