The Turnbull Government’s own report on the review of the National Partnership Agreement on Skills Reform, released today, has proven that Labor’s National Partnership Agreement did require TAFE to be protected and also provided evidence that this has not been the case under the Abbott/ Turnbull Governments.
In other words, the NP recognises that public providers are more than ‘just another provider’, though would benefit from greater guidance and specification in this regard.
Page iv, National Partnership Agreement on Skills Reform
The Report also endorsed both of Labor’s significant vocational education initiatives.
- The Government’s own report provides ample evidence that Labor’s policy to guarantee funding for TAFE by working with Premiers and Chief Ministers on a comprehensive National Priority Plan that defines the role of TAFE and places it squarely as the public provider within the VET sector.
The role and expected activities of the public provider, both contestable and non-contestable, should be clearly and transparently articulated, costed, and funded accordingly.
Page xii, National Partnership Agreement on Skills Reform
2. The Report backs in Labor’s policy for a comprehensive, evidence based review of the sector.
In facing these reform pressures, the VET sector has not had the benefit of a detailed contemporary national assessment of the full breadth of student, industry and community needs, in the same way that the 2008 Bradley Review of Higher Education has provided to that sector. Future Commonwealth-state arrangements should therefore be informed by a detailed roadmap for the VET sector, one that establishes the place and purpose of VET and enables a more definitive specification of the most appropriate future reform actions and outcomes to meet the objectives of the NASWD, and to determine what changes to the national training system architecture and the respective roles of all parties are required.
Page ix, National Partnership Agreement on Skills Reform
It is now clear that Labor’s plan for the VET sector is spot on.
The Liberals are yet to even mention the word TAFE – let alone put out a policy.
They have refused to absolutely rule out a TAFE-destroying Federal takeover.
They have refused to back TAFE.
They have refused to help apprentices.
The Minister needs to stop the $2.5 billion in cuts to the skills portfolio and start talking about what he is going to do to stop the decimation of TAFE, the freefall in apprenticeship numbers and actually start training our workforce for the jobs of the future.
This report has been released publicly today following the meeting of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Industry Skills Council.
FRIDAY, 1 APRIL 2016