Mary Wooldridge MP

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Labor fails in Free TAFE rollout

Wednesday, July 03, 2019

Labor’s failure to effectively implement its Free TAFE policy has resulted in significant staff shortages, ballooning class sizes, and raises serious concerns about the quality of pathways to jobs for students.

Labor has failed to plan, with no estimates on student enrolments in Free TAFE and an 82% blowout in the Free TAFE budget in the first year alone.

This was always a policy on the run, with Labor recklessly undertaking no modelling, going against the advice of its own VET funding review and failing to consult with the TAFE and broader VET sector.

Under Labor, 24% fewer students are enrolled in government-subsidised training than in Daniel Andrews’ first year as Premier.

The Liberal Nationals support improving access and reducing barriers to participation in training for all students, young and old, but this needs a comprehensive plan, not Labor’s one trick pony approach.

With more than 54 000 young Victorians currently unemployed, simply papering over the cracks in the training system will not work. More needs to be done to ensure they have the skills and training to get a job and fully participate in the workforce, both now and in the future.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Training and Skills, Mary Wooldridge:

 “Daniel Andrews has developed his TAFE policy on the run, with no sector consultation, and unfortunately it’s young Victorians and those returning to work who are suffering the consequences.”

 “This is particularly evident as the Labor Government botches the implementation of Free TAFE, with little thought to how courses are actually delivered, where students can get practical training, how to recruit teachers or improve the quality of learning.”

 “Free TAFE attempts to paper over the cracks in the training sector, which, under Daniel Andrews, is heavily reliant on government grants to function, and has delivered plummeting student numbers and declining employer satisfaction.”

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