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TAFE appointments “a waste of resources”

Grafton TAFE students join organiser Kathy Nicholson, Greens NSW MLC John Kaye and federal Greens senator Lee Rhiannon to protest cuts to TAFE services.
Grafton TAFE students join organiser Kathy Nicholson, Greens NSW MLC John Kaye and federal Greens senator Lee Rhiannon to protest cuts to TAFE services. Adam Hourigan

THE NSW Opposition has slammed the Baird Government's decision to recruit a raft of senior bureaucrats at TAFE as a waste of resources.

The Baird Government is creating eight new positions - each paying almost $250,000 a year - to push through its Smart and Skilled program.

Shadow Minister for Skills David Harris said the directors would form part of a newly-created team to implement the Government's program to divert funds away from TAFE to private vocational education providers.

"Last year enrolments fell by 43,000, at least 2,500 teaching and educational support staff positions have been cut since Smart and Skilled was introduced in 2011, and students are paying hundreds of dollars more in course fees," he said.

"Paying a bunch of fat cats top dollar salaries at a time when the Baird Government has cut 2500 TAFE teaching and support staff and enrolments are down 43,000 makes absolutely no sense at all."

Mr Harris said more resources wre needed on the frontline to help young people get the right skills for the workforce.

"We don't need to hire more analysts and PR people to sell a bad policy," he said.

"We just need to ensure TAFE is properly funded and shonky private providers are shut down."

North Coast TAFE community and business engagement leader Tania Williams has previously told The Daily Examiner she was confident the changes would not impact on their ability to provide vocational education.

"North Coast TAFE has always bid strongly for government funds, but it's not the total story," she said.

"More than half of our 50,000-plus enrolments are already funded by means other than the NSW taxpayer. We have been able to provide a training place to every eligible student if we have had the course on offer."

Topics:  david harris, north coast tafe, tafe nsw




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