Liberal definition of TAFE reform is destroy and dismantle – Harris

David Harris MPMr Harris MP - Shadow Minister for CC

Shadow minister for the Central Coast Mr David Harris has described the latest NSW Government changes to TAFE as “continuing its disgraceful attack on NSW TAFE.

He said the proposal to centralise TAFE would result in “more cuts, more campus sell-offs and a reduction in face-to-face teaching”. According to Mr Harris, the announcement was “a move that foreshadows a widespread sell-off of campuses across the state”. The Labor MP said the changes would result in more teaching online rather than face-to-face. The announcement comes off the back of damning fi gures in the latest state budget that spell out the destruction of TAFE, according to Mr Harris.

He issued a list of what he considered to be the failures of the current NSW Government in relation to Hunter TAFE: sacking at least 120 staff at Hunter TAFE, with more to come; enrolments down from 64,403 in 2012 to only 24,205 in 2016; wasted over $500 million on failed IT software, $269 million over budget and now scrapped; and finally, the announcement that they will scrap Hunter TAFE altogether, and centralise administration in Sydney. “Complex trades will be taught via a computer screen rather than in the TAFE workshop,” Mr Harris said. “Bringing all the TAFE institutes under the control of a centralised organisation also denies local campuses the flexibility to offer courses to suit the local population, businesses and industry,” he said.

“Changes to the HunterCentral Coast TAFE campuses will make it easier for the NSW Government to hide falling student enrolments, reduced course offers, cuts to teaching positions, and downgraded campus services. “It will mean the State Government can slice up any regional campus. “The Liberal defi nition of reform is destroy and dismantle,” Mr Harris said.

Media release, Jul 14, 2016 Jake Allen, Offi ce of David Harris, Shadow Minister for the Central Coast