Baillieu’s VCAL Cuts To Impact Students In Shepparton

Daniel Andrews | 

The Baillieu Government’s decision to cut coordination funding for the Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) program will limit the options of young people in the Shepparton region, Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews said today.

Visiting Goulburn Murray Local Learning and Employment Network (LLEN) today, Mr Andrews urged Mr Baillieu to rethink his decision to cut $48 million from the successful VCAL program.

Goulburn Murray LLEN covers three shires – Greater Shepparton, Moira and Strathbogie – and works with schools to coordinate the program for hundreds of students across the region.

“Mr Baillieu and his Education Minister Martin Dixon have refused to acknowledge the impact this funding cut will have on schools, but the fact is these cuts will hurt VCAL providers across the region,” Mr Andrews said.

“Without this funding, schools may need to trim other areas of their budgets. It may force schools to reduce the number of teachers, cut subjects, or dump support programs in areas such as literacy.”

Mr Andrews said VCAL coordinators were essential in developing curriculum and assessment materials, developing partnerships with local employment networks as well as coordinating student administration.

“VCAL provides students an alternative to VCE, and a pathway to a career,” he said.

“Not every student goes to university, and VCAL prepares students for the next step in their lives, whether that’s further education, training or employment.

“This program is now in jeopardy because Mr Baillieu has made a choice to axe funding for VCAL coordinators as part of his $481 million budget cuts to education.”

The funding for VCAL coordination finishes at the end of this year.

Member for Northern Victoria Kaye Darveniza said Mr Baillieu should visit schools in the region to see first hand how students were benefitting from VCAL.

“Students in the region deserve a quality education that provides an alternative to the VCE,” Ms Darveniza said.

“It’s astounding Mr Baillieu has chosen to turn his back on students wanting alternative education and training, and I’d encourage the Premier to rethink his decision immediately.”

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