NSW budget shows no support for TAFE

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The Baird Government is paving the way for a skills shortage and pricing students out of vocational education and training – with today’s budget revealing a shocking decline in TAFE enrolments.

Enrolments are down more than 43,000 since the introduction of ‘Smart and Skilled’ this year – and more than 80,000 fewer students are enrolled in TAFE than in 2012.

There are 11,500 fewer students with disabilities than in 2012 – with enrolments dropping by more than 5,000 students just in the past year. It is forecast that the number of Aboriginal students will drop by almost 3,000 between 2014 and 2015.

More than 2,600 full-time equivalent staff have been laid off since 2012-13.

Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Skills David Harris:

“This budget confirms what we already knew – the Liberals and Nationals are happy to let TAFE wither on the vine.”

“The marked decline in enrolments this year is a clear result of fee increases that kicked in on 1 January.”

“The result of the Baird Government hanging TAFE out to dry will be a massive skills shortage and further increases in unemployment.”

“It is distressing to see the higher fees being a huge deterrent for students with disabilities and Aboriginal students.”

“Today’s budget makes clear the Baird Government is doing nothing to boost TAFE – and instead is happy to see vocational training and education slip further out of reach.”