The $1.2 billion cut from TAFE has devastated the sector with nine percent (9%) fewer students enrolling in 2013 than at the same time last year, member for Altona district Ms Jill Hennessy said.
The release of the much delayed 2013 ‘Victorian Training Market Quarterly Report’ is the first analysis of enrolments since the TAFE cuts started.
This report lays it bare – Premier Napthine’s Government has failed in the restructure of TAFE which is a direct consequence of the massive cuts made in last year’s budget.
“The figures showed fewer enrolments in the courses that the Government had identified as being of ‘greatest public and economic importance,” Hennessy said adding that whatever Premier Napthine and Skills Minister Peter Hall have tried to do with TAFE, it has failed miserably.
“His massive cuts and drastic revamp has resulted in nearly 22,000 less people enrolling in TAFE courses, diplomas and apprenticeships. It has hit hard locally as well with a drop of 4% (5000) in enrollments in the South Western Region from 117,700 in the first quarter of 2012 to 112,700 in the first quarter of 2013”.
“The Napthine’s Government stated aim in cutting $300 million a year was to focus the industry to provide graduates that the state’s economy needs – these are the very students that haven’t turned up to study in 2013 . This means there are fewer graduates that Victoria desperately needs to help drive economic growth, as well as a massive 17 percent reduction in students starting higher level courses such as diplomas .The tragedy here is that these figures also show that the cuts are preventing the most vulnerable from learning a skill to get a job,” she said.
“Mr Hall didn’t release these figures until the last day of parliament before the winter break .When the media and the Opposition asked why the minister hadn’t released the figures, Mr Hall blamed Labor, blamed the Federal Government, blamed the computer and even blamed the individual TAFEs for not providing the data in time,” said Hennessy.
“We know now that Mr Hall was simply hiding under his desk, avoiding scrutiny and afraid to front up to the TAFE disaster he has created,” she said.