Massive Cuts Could Force TAFE Campus Closures
The Premier has today refused to rule out that the Government’s significant funding cuts could force the closer of TAFE campuses across the state, Shadow Minister for Higher Education and Skills Steve Herbert said.
Today the TAFE Association announced that the Baillieu Government’s estimates of funding cuts to TAFE institutes could rise to about $290 million a year by 2013.
The Association has also estimated job losses could be as many as 1500 across the sector this year.
In parliament today, Leader of the Opposition Daniel Andrews asked Ted Baillieu to rule out the closure of any TAFE campus as a consequence of his savage cutbacks to the sector.
It followed the refusal by the Minister for Skills and Higher Education to rule out campus closures.
“Ted Baillieu was given plenty of opportunities to rule out whether his funding cuts would force the closure of any TAFE campus but he failed to give Victorians that guarantee,” Mr Herbert said.
“These cuts are cruel and will cost hundreds of jobs and hurt students across the state.
“As more jobs are being lost, Victorians need to have access to services that can provide training and skills.
“Many TAFEs are based in regional and rural Victoria, providing education close to home for students and are a significant local employer for regional areas.
“Any closures will impact on the local economy and limit education options for Victorians.”
Today it was revealed that the Baillieu Government’s own Minister for Higher Education and Skills Peter Hall had written to Victorian TAFE providers and admitted he had considered resigning over the funding cuts to the sector.
“We all acknowledge that the journey ahead is going to be a very tough one. The easy thing to do would be to give up, to throw in the towel. Believe me I have thought of doing that on many occasions in recent months.” (Peter Hall)
“This letter confirms that there are major divisions in the Baillieu Government,” Mr Herbert said.
“If the Minister can admit these cuts will devastate training in Victoria, it’s time the Premier did as well.
“Slashing millions of dollars from TAFES will hurt thousands of people who are in need of skills training and force hundreds of jobs to be lost.”