The state budget handed down on 2 May had some welcome investment for public schools and early childhood education; however, Victorians who rely on TAFEs for their education will be disappointed.
There was additional funding of $83.2 million over four years for the Office of TAFE Coordination to help TAFE network collaboration, including funding to support the transition to the new funding model announced in 2021.
There was $12 million for the Apprenticeship Support Officers program to support students at risk of failing to complete their apprenticeships, and $800,000 for an audit of accessibility in TAFE campuses.
Greater investment is needed to ensure high quality student learning.
But the state government’s Macklin review made it plain that Victoria’s TAFEs are not funded to cover the full cost of training, and this budget did nothing to address this funding shortfall. Greater investment is needed to ensure high quality student learning, and to attract and retain the next generation of TAFE teachers.
With a state election in November, and as we campaign for a new TAFE agreement, there is plenty of opportunity to make a case for the state government to find a way to finally ‘Save TAFE’.