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Skills crisis will grow as Rockliff makes it harder for TasTAFE students

  • TasTAFE being treated as a business when skills training should be a priority
  • Students face cost increases, less accessibility to courses
  • Staff overworked while bureaucracy allowed to flourish

 

Deputy Premier Jeremy Rockliff has signed off on fee increases at TasTAFE at the same time courses will be cut as Tasmania’s skills crisis grows.

Shadow Skills and Training Minister Anita Dow said according to the October Executive Meeting Minutes from TasTAFE, Minister Rockliff has signed off on course fees increases of up to three per cent.

“At the same time, the Deputy Premier is denying teachers a fair and reasonable pay increase, course increases of up to three per cent and the withdrawal of concessions for some courses will make undertaking training in these important industries unreachable for many Tasmanians,” Ms Dow said.

“That includes training for professionals in the much-needed areas of early childhood educators and teacher’s aids.

“Minister Rockliff understands Tasmania has a serious shortage of skilled workers in these important areas, as well as aged care and nursing and that these growth industries will offer many future employment opportunities for Tasmanians.

“The Hodgman Liberal Government is doing little to address this and is, in fact, contributing to this growing crisis through prioritising revenue over equity of access to skills and training for Tasmanians,” Ms Dow said.

“This government and this Minister are denying Tasmanians the opportunity to become skilled through the public trainer – they are denying Tasmanians a pathway to jobs.”

Shadow Education Minister Michelle O’Byrne said next year, several courses would be available on-line only rather than in a classroom setting and TasTAFE staff had also been told that because TasTAFE would run at a loss of 1.6 million this financial year, management’s priority was to increase revenue.

“It’s just unacceptable that the priority for the public trainer is to operate TasTAFE as a business rather than the provider of desperately needed skills training for Tasmanians,” Ms O’Byrne said.

“Mr Rockliff has learned nothing from the TasTAFE scandal of last year which saw former CEO Stephen Conway at the centre of very damaging claims of nepotism and misconduct.

“In recent months, several teacher’s contracts were cut at TasTAFE at the same time advertisements were placed for a new Executive Director and a new Project Officer with a combined salary of more than $200,000.

“Meantime, remaining teachers are working 50 hour weeks.

“At the same time the Liberals are cutting access to courses and making obtaining skills more expensive, teachers are being pushed to the limit and denied a fair pay rise.”

 

Anita Dow MP
Shadow Minister for Employment, Training and Skills Development

Michelle O’Byrne MP
Shadow Minister for Education