NSW TAFE cuts a dress rehearsal for Abbott's razor gang

Liberal NSW Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli has continued the trend of Liberal State Governments by cutting TAFE funding, slashing jobs and increasing student fees.

Mr Piccoli today announced 800 TAFE jobs will be cut over the next four years and fees for TAFE students will increase by 9.5 per cent.

The Federal Minister for Skills, Senator Chris Evans, said the cuts announced in NSW today follow the Liberal Governments’ savage cuts to TAFE in Victoria and proposed cuts to TAFE in Queensland.

“NSW TAFE students will pay $44 extra for certificate one and two courses and an extra $150 for advanced diplomas,” Senator Evans said.

“At the very time we need to grow Australia’s skills base, the NSW Liberal State Government is implementing policies that could see a reduction in training opportunities, including for those living in regional areas.

“It is short sighted of the NSW Government to undermine TAFEs at a time when the State's economy needs more skilled workers.”

“Liberal Governments have form when it comes to cutting critical services like health and education.

“The Baillieu Government’s decision to cut $300 million from the Victorian TAFE system has already seen campus and course closures across the State.

“The Liberal National Party in Queensland is planning to close half of the State’s TAFE campuses and in doing so, deny thousands of Queenslanders the chance to access training.

“These polices are simply a dress rehearsal for what Tony Abbott is planning for the tertiary education sector.”

The Parliamentary Secretary for Skills, Sharon Bird MP, said the cuts will undermine the national training effort.

“TAFEs are on the frontline when it comes to giving people in NSW the skills they need to get a job and are essential in delivering training for students in our regions and for disadvantaged students,” Ms Bird said.

“TAFEs are essential public institutions which the Gillard Government values highly.”

The Gillard Government is putting almost $2.3 billion into the New South Wales training system over the next five years.