More staff cuts are slated for TAFE this year as the Berejiklian-Barilaro Government continues its ideological assault on state-funded tertiary education.

Treasury documents show that $53.23 million in redundancy and restructuring costs are on the cards this year.

Based on current staffing numbers this could amount to around 600 teachers – or more than a tenth of current academic workforce - being cut across the state’s TAFE network. 

The news will deliver another blow to the Hunter, which has borne a disproportionate number of the cuts. Hamilton TAFE alone has lost 17 staff and has been forced to cut entire courses such as boatbuilding and information technology.

The latest Treasury figures – unearthed by the NSW Labor Opposition – show the level of cuts the State Government is inflicting on TAFE are deeper than many feared.

Since 2012 when the Government began its assault on TAFE 5,700 teachers and support staff have been sacked, courses cut and fee hiked by around a quarter, resulting in 175,000 fewer enrolments, 40,000 of them in the Hunter alone.

On top of this TAFE campuses have been closed, a new format – effectively a shopfront – has sprung up to replace bricks and mortar institutes and $145 million has been wasted on the roll out of a dud computer system that has lost student fees and citations and chewed up hundreds of hours of staff time.

Labor has committed to re-build one of the great institutions of our state and will guarantee at least 70 per cent of vocational education and training funding for TAFE. It will also set up a Private Providers Investigations Unit to target dodgy providers and restore confidence to the vocational education sector.

Quotes attributable to Opposition Leader Luke Foley

“TAFE has been a successful educational institution for more than 130 years yet this government has turned training for jobs into a wasteland.

“Business and industry in many sectors desperately needs trained and skilled staff but it can’t get them this way.

“The Hunter needs a strong TAFE but this Liberal Government is determined to tear it down.

“One in ten young people in the Hunter are out of work yet the Liberal’s answer is to subsidise for profit private colleges that crash and burn.

“Labor will properly fund vocational tertiary education that will equip young people with the skills they need to get a job.”

Quotes attributable to Shadow Skills Minister Prue Car

“Gladys Berejiklian’s Government is continuing the Liberal legacy of destroying TAFE. Every TAFE Teacher they sack is one less teacher in the classroom.

“They just don’t get it. Enrolments are in freefall, course fees are going through the roof and yet this Government continues to slash our TAFE.

“Only Labor will save TAFE.”