South West TAFE teachers and students rally against funding cuts, including business study teacher Doreen Risbey (front left) and deputy vice-president of Victorian branch of the Australian Education Union Greg Barclay (front right). POTENTIAL south-west students looking to improve their vocational knowledge through TAFE have been turned away by prohibitive costs, teachers have claimed.
Nanjing Night Net

Australian Education Union (AEU) members staged a rally at South West TAFE yesterday to raise awareness about state government cuts to the skills training sector.

Warrnambool protesters claimed TAFEs statewide were losing staff and students due to the cuts and believed more than 300 teachers had left the sector since the reforms were introduced.

However, Higher Education Minister Peter Hall has hit back at the AEU campaign and said it had been deliberately misleading.

AEU state president Mary Bluett said the Baillieu government cut $40 million in November 2011 and was now considering a recommendation to axe a further $230 million over the next three years in funding to TAFE.

“These cuts have put the viability of some institutions at risk, particularly in regional areas. This led to 300 teacher job cuts and course closures,” Ms Bluett said. “It has also led to the proliferation of low cost, high volume courses delivered by private for-profit providers.”

Mr Hall refuted the AEU’s claims and said the state government’s cash contribution to the training sector had grown from $800 million four years ago to $1.2 million in the 2011-12 budget.”

He said claims by the AEU that 300 teaching job losses had been notched up under government reforms were untrue a nd without foundation.

“Training provision has increased dramatically in the past four years as a result of the move to a demand-driven system whereby students and industry are able to access the training they need,” Mr Hall said.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.