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TAFE ‘on the ropes’

Thursday, 2nd April, 2015

A Greens MP has voiced fears for the future of TAFE in NSW after it was moved out of the Education portfolio yesterday.

TAFE now finds itself in the Industry portfolio under John Barilaro, a move that has been condemned by Greens NSW MP John Kaye.

“Unless Premier Baird reconsiders, this will be the last straw for TAFE as a public education institution,” said Mr Kaye in a statement.

“After just six months of ‘Smart and Skilled’, TAFE is on the ropes. Severing the connection to Education will push it over the edge.

“The corporate private providers are set to be amongst the biggest winners from the cabinet reshuffle.

“They will be assessed and managed by a department that has no interest in or understanding of education. This will be all about maximising the number of qualifications at the least cost. Quality and educational outcomes will disappear.

“Industry bureaucrats and their minister will know nothing about providing educational opportunities for young people and second chance learners. 

“The social mission of vocational education and training has been junked by Premier Baird who sees TAFE as nothing but a higher cost provider.”

Mr Kaye questioned the Industry Minister’s grasp on education issues, and said education would suffer by placing TAFE in its new setting.

“Education minister Adrian Piccoli had some understanding of TAFE. His successor, Industry Minister John Barilaro, holds a portfolio that has no focus on educational outcomes, equity or second chance learning. 

“TAFE is at risk of becoming a sausage factory, competing in a market driven by low costs and low quality.”

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