May 24, 2012

TAFE Cuts Devastating Says Howard

Geoff Howard MP, State Member for Ballarat East, today condemned the Baillieu Governments cuts to TAFE saying they will have a devastating effect on Ballarat and Regional Victorian communities.

Mr Howard raised the matter in Parliament yesterday and will continue to hold the Baillieu Government to account for the decisions they make and the impacts of those decisions on Ballarat and regional Victorian communities.

“The School of Mines which is University of Ballarat’s largest TAFE campus has a 140 year history in in the region, providing quality training and education to countless thousands of Ballarat and regional Victorian people.  Now a $20 million dollar cut to the University of Ballarat TAFE next year means that 57 courses will be lost and around 90 jobs,” he said.

“There would be few families in my electorate that do not have an association with the TAFE system, either as students themselves, or hoping that one day their children might go to TAFE to train for a future career.”

“These cuts to the TAFE system take away the hopes and aspirations of thousands of young people at a time where we should be supporting and strengthening regional communities.”

“Mr Baillieu and Mr Hall, the Minister for Higher Education and Skills, just don’t understand how important TAFE is for not only students, but employers looking for quality trainees and apprentices.”

“I am aware of many young people in my electorate going to TAFE are the first in their families to do tertiary education; they are so proud, their parents are so proud, because through merit and hard work they have an opportunity that their parents never had to receive training and education to fulfil their dream of working in their chosen vocation.”

“These cuts are a vicious attack on the future of our young people.”

“TAFE in the Ballarat region is going from a budget of $49 million to a budget of $29 million.  What do you do with that? What do you tell the students who can no longer go to TAFE next year because they will have cut so many of the courses that are so important to this region? What do you tell the teachers who are going to be sacked? What do you tell the industries in Ballarat that depend upon that training in those areas that are going to be cut?”

“It’s not too late – Mr Hall and Mr Baillieu must acknowledge their mistake and reinstate TAFE funding,” said Mr Howard.