TAFE members and advocates have used this year’s National TAFE Day to send a strong message to politicians that it’s time for governments to properly fund TAFE.
TAFE is one of the country’s most precious and important educational institutions. Every year, National TAFE Day provides the opportunity to celebrate its central role in providing educational opportunities and essential skills for individuals, communities and employers.
This year, on 11 August, supporters took to social media to post selfies and messages calling on state and federal governments to #RebuildWithTAFE.
Together, members lobbied their local federal MPs, added their names to an open letter calling on Morrison to guarantee funding for TAFE, and invited the media to learn about the positive difference TAFE is making to people’s lives.
In failing to adequately fund TAFE, the Morrison government has failed to back our most trusted public vocational education system and its essential role of creating the skilled workforce Australia needs to keep our economy strong.
Access to publicly funded vocational education is every person’s right, and now, more than ever, investing in TAFE means investing in a positive future for us all.
The Commission’s report provides insight into the agenda the Morrison government will pursue in its negotiations with states and territories regarding new funding agreements. We are alarmed by reports that the federal government is exerting pressure on states to agree to funding and policy commitments underpinned by its view that competition drives improvements in provision and access. We know from previous experience that this will continue to undermine the central role of public TAFE.
The future and financial viability of TAFE relies on strong commitments to fund VET adequately – and that means funding that meets the actual cost of training. The Andrews government has introduced many positive changes in TAFE; however, funding remains the key area of neglect, leaving many institutes in a vulnerable position. The Macklin Report indicated that TAFE needed to be at the centre of our VET sector, leading the way on delivering high-quality programs. Victoria needs to push back against the Morrison government’s agenda, which will see our TAFEs continuing to fight for scraps on an unfair playing field.