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Candidate question time: TAFE NSW

Dubbo Tafe. File. Today candidates for the Dubbo electorate talk about what they would like to see happen with TAFE NSW.

TAFE has been a fixture in NSW education for more than 100 years and is seen as the leading provider of vocational education but some are concerned for its future.

As a result of rising costs, the government has opened vocational education to private providers and cut funding to TAFEs, while student fees have also increased There have been fears about the impacts on the Dubbo campus, students and local businesses.

We asked candidates if TAFE is still a relevant and affordable form of education and what they would do to ensure it remains viable into the future.

This is what they had to say.

Matt Parmeter – The Greens.

I eat bread. Love cakes. Get my hair cut. My car fixed. Have had power points installed at my home. Plumbing been done. This is TAFE in action.

We support TAFE being the primary, first-choice provider of vocational education and training (VET) in NSW, and remaining entirely in public hands, with the resources it needs to provide world-class training.

In Victoria, TAFE has been decimated. Funding that previously supported TAFE now goes to a numerous private organisations – the private provider model. Victorian TAFE only receives about one-quarter of vocational education funding.

Some private trainers may be reasonable. But we fear that many will not have the resources to give the depth and quality of training to students that TAFE can provide.

I want my power points to work properly; welds to be solid.

The Greens are campaigning hard to save TAFE. We will limit non TAFE providers to 20 per cent of the public funding pie. See www.johnkaye.org.au/ campaigns/save-tafe.

We reject the government’s Smart and Skilled reforms, which will see VET become less comprehensive, less useful and more expensive as dodgy third-party providers underbid TAFE for service provision by cutting teaching hours, increasing class sizes and decreasing the length of degrees.

If you want skilled, well trained people to provide services to you and your family, then support TAFE.

Troy Grant – National Party MP.

TAFE remains the NSW government’s, and our community’s, preferred public provider of vocational education and training. But we know TAFE needs to be more competitive and change will be part of that.

We are supportive of a system in which the best outcomes can be delivered for our students and the government’s Smart and Skilled reforms will help us achieve that.

This includes opening courses to other providers, to ensure students receive the best training at an affordable cost.

Colin Hamilton – Independent.

I would restore the funding cuts from the previous government.

I believe that TAFE is vital to rural areas for our school leavers and mature students to gain trade certificates and become employment ready.

TAFE is also crucial for those up-skilling to meet the needs of alternative employment.

Stephen Lawrence – Labor Party.

TAFE fees increased massively from 1 January 2015.

Fees are now up to $4000 for basic certificates, with 40 per cent of students now paying between $500 and $1500.

Apprentices will pay up to $2000 per course a year, up from $500.

I believe TAFE should be the mainstay of Vocational Education & Training in NSW.

This is the only way to ensure quality and maintain access, particularly in rural areas where TAFE is so important.

Labor will halt the government’s steady moves towards the privatisation of TAFE through capping the amount of public money that can go to private sector providers at 30 per cent.

This will stop NSW going down the Victorian path where the Liberal government gutted TAFE and allowed 70 per cent of money to be contestable by the private sector.

Labor will scrap the ironically titled Smart & Skilled policy and cap fees at 2014 levels indexed to inflation.

TAFE can provide amazing educational and training opportunities for school leavers but sadly it is becoming out of reach for so many young people.

The new fee schedule that started earlier this year has been devastating and no amount of government rhetoric can disguise that reality.

Every day until the NSW election on March 28, the Daily Liberal is quizzing the candidates for the seat of Dubbo on the big issues that will affect the region’s voters.

Community members can pinpoint the issues they believe all candidates should address in an email to [email protected]苏州美甲美睫培训学校.au.

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