Thursday, June 14, 2012

council supports TAFE4All

report from the roundtable - 12 jun

At this week's meeting I moved a motion (item 9.1) in relation to the state government's funding cuts to TAFE.

I'm pleased that the motion (wording below) was supported by the majority of councillors. 

For: Crs Samantha Dunn, Richard Higgins, Len Cox, Noel Cliff, Tim Heenan, Terry Avery and Graham Warren
Against: Crs Jeanette McRae and Chris Templer

Yarra Ranges joins with 16 other councils in Victoria concerned about the effect on their local communities, who have voted to advocate to reverse the decision to cut funding from TAFE.

For Yarra Ranges students, the effects of the cuts are likely to be very detrimental to their ability to access training. Already students in Yarra Ranges are disadvantaged due to poor public transport services, if the funding cuts mean students need to travel even further for their studies this could be disastrous for ongoing vocational education and training. 

The Lilydale campus of Swinburne TAFE had 1,479 students enrolled in 2010.

The overall cost impact of the Government’s decision for Swinburne is likely to be in the order of $35 million in 2013, whilst exact figures are not yet known

for the Lilydale campus, it is evident that there will be a significant impact.

It is highly likely that such impacts include a reduction in the number of courses offered and to the shared support services to TAFE and higher education. Added to this, the flow-on impact to the pipeline of TAFE students who articulate into higher education will be significant owing to the budget changes.

We also know that the education sector is the sixth most important sector for output and is the third most significant sector of employment in Yarra Ranges. Any impact to this sector will be immediately felt within our municipality owing to is location on the urban fringe and difficulties in generating employment opportunities within the local region.

It goes without saying that the negative social impacts to our community by reduced access and opportunities for higher education will be significant and long term in effect. Given the lack of replacement strategy in the interim to improve skills and productivity of those relying on TAFE education, the budget cuts will have far reaching negative impacts on local communities.

This week the local paper ran a story on the job cuts at Swinburne, I encourage you to have a look: Swinburne TAFE to axe jobs.

I also encourage you to support the TAFE4All campaign.

That Council:
a) Resolve to write to the Premier, Treasurer, Minister for Higher Education and other relevant ministers, seeking that the State Government reverse its decision to cut the training and salary budgets of Technical and Further Education (TAFE) colleges across the state.
b) Express concern that the cuts will put up to 1,200 jobs at risk and appear designed to put TAFE into direct competition with private providers, which will lead to fee rises, course closures and the eventual privatisation of TAFE.
c) Consider the cuts are particularly ill conceived in a period where there are increasing job losses in other industries and an Australia-wide skills shortage.
d) Support the joint Australian Education Union (AEU)  â€“ National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) TAFE4All campaign.
e) Write a letter of support for the campaign to save TAFE funding, to the Australian Education Union and the National Tertiary Education Union.
f) Send a copy of this motion and campaign information to the MAV and VLGA 
requesting that they also make representations to the Government seeking reversal of its decision.
g) Call for a report investigating the economic, social, community service, and 
educational implications of any proposed cuts in Yarra Ranges.
h) Send a representative to the public meeting being held by the NTEU at the Melbourne Town Hall on 20 June at 12pm.

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