Wednesday, November 21, 2012

TAFE Cuts Indicate Losses For an Entire Generation

by 21st Century News:

TAFE, Liverpool, Sydney
TAFE, Liverpool, Sydney (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
AAP: A generation will miss out on tertiary education and have reduced earning power if NSW cuts TAFE funding, a new study warns.

The study, commissioned by NSW Public Service Association (PSA) and carried out by the Centre for Policy Development (CPD), shows those who complete TAFE qualifications increase lifetime earnings by nearly $325,000.

The report from the study says men who achieve an advanced diploma, diploma or certificate III or IV earn an average of 13.8 per cent more than those with Year 11 education, while women with those TAFE qualifications will earn 11.4 per cent more.

Vocational education and training (VET) is particularly important for people with disabilities or from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, according to the report Valuing Skills: Why Vocational Training Matters.

The PSA is warning that those benefits could be lost after the NSW government’s $1.7 billion cut to education spending, affecting TAFE colleges along with state and private schools.

“At a time when the state government has embarked on short-sighted cuts to TAFE, including fee increases and 800 job losses, today we’ve seen the immense value generated by VET for individuals, our society and our economy,” PSA general secretary Anne Gardiner said.

She said the NSW government had no clear plan for TAFE, which was both underfunded and undervalued.

“If you cut jobs and working conditions for TAFE staff, you will get worse education outcomes and a generation of young people could miss out altogether on tertiary studies,” Ms Gardiner said.

Report author Christopher Stone, research director of CPD’s public service research program, said the decrease in government funding came at a time there was concern over skills shortages. “If funding is to be reduced it needs to be done with a clear public explanation of either how the sector can achieve increased efficiencies, or what services are no longer to be provided,” he said.

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