Sharon Bird has today written to Assistant Minister, Karen Andrews, asking for urgent answers to a number of questions raised at Education and Employment Senate Estimates hearings in Canberra last Wednesday evening.

The Department were unable to answer many of the questions about the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) and Skills for Education and Employment (SEE) contracts being taken from TAFE and awarded to Navitas who are now sub-contracting to MAX Solutions.

Sharon Bird said the staff and students who are currently studying at TAFE and will be required to change providers from 1 July 2017 still have not received information about where the course delivery will take place and whether child care options will be available to students.

“We are now less than a month away from the date that the new contractors are due to start and the students still have no idea about where their courses will be held, whether they are able to get public transport to these locations and whether there will be child care available nearby,” Sharon Bird said.

“This situation has not been helped by the Department being unable to answer these questions in Senate Estimates.  I have written to Assistant Minister Andrews seeking her urgent clarification of these issues.

“The process has been ill considered and is chaotic.  I still cannot work out why there are two companies now involved in the delivery of this course and why the Liberals decided to rip the funding from our local TAFE.  They were doing a great job, I understand they have had a AAA rating and the students were also able to utilise pathways through TAFE to help with training for employment.

“Students and teachers need to know what is happening and they need to know now.”

Attached: Letter to Hon Karen Andrews MP, Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills.