Baillieu TAFE Cuts hit Melbourne’s North hardest:

Federal Member for Wills, Kelvin Thomson, and Federal Member for Calwell, Maria Vamvakinou, have slammed the Baillieu Liberal Government’s TAFE Cuts, which will result in severe ramifications for young people in Melbourne’s North.Mr Thomson and Mrs Vamvakinou met with the Chief Executive Officer of Kangan Institute, Ray Griffiths, to discuss the cuts and what they will mean for locals.“We are very concerned to learn that cuts to TAFE funding will mean that up to 52 courses offered by Kangan Institute could be cut. This will mean less opportunity for young people in Melbourne’s north to learn skills and qualifications that would otherwise help them secure a job long term, and help our state up skill its workforce”, Mr Thomson said. “Some of the 52 courses include some of the areas where our economy needs the skills the most; building, language studies, health, and hospitality”, Mrs Vamvakinou said.“These funding cuts and course cuts could not have come at a worse time for young Victorians, who are feeling the full effect of the nation’s two speed economy, and high exchange rate, generated by the mining boom”, Mr Thomson said.

According to the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, the unemployment rate across Melbourne’s north West Region is 6.4%. Victoria has recorded the highest level of youth unemployment in Australia. Jobs figures show 22.3% of young people aged 15 to 19 are unemployed, well above the national rate of 18%. Some 14,000 Victorians aged 15 to 19 were unemployed and not attending full time education in March, while 29,300 jobless youths were studying fulltime.

“This is a short-sighted decision. At a time when Victorian jobs are being lost, and we should be skilling our own workers rather than importing them, it has never been more important to invest in our TAFE system”, Mr Thomson said.

“This decision will have severe long term consequences on Victoria’s ability to up skill its workforce. Victoria’s TAFE system needs support from the State Government in order to help skill and train young Victorians. But along with the course cuts, there will be significant job losses for teaching staff”, Mrs Vamvakinou said.

In meeting with Mr Griffiths, Mr Thomson and Mrs Vamvakinou stated they were shocked to learn of the severity of the cuts. Some of the 52 courses that will not be accepting any more mid-year enrolments from this year include;
 Certificate II in Aviation (Flight Operations)
 Advanced Diploma in Building Surveying
 Diploma of Ornamental Horticulture
 Certificate II in Transport and Logistics
 Certificate IV in Business
 Course note taking for deaf and hard of hearing people
 Diploma in Youth Work
 Certificate II in Hospitality

“Rather than seek to repair the broken funding system for private providers, the cuts punish the reputable long standing public institutions like Kangan Institute”, Ms Vamvakinou said.

“Private providers have been taking advantage of an uncapped system, and have been putting profits before quality learning for young people. The money that otherwise would go to private providers, should go into the public TAFE system which puts learning outcomes as its first priority”, Mr Thomson said.

Mr Thomson and Mrs Vamvakinou stated they are writing to Premier Baillieu and Minister for Higher Education and Skills, Peter Hall, outlining their serious concerns over this funding cut, and asking the Victorian Liberal Government to immediately reinstate funding support for public TAFE providers, and to reform the funding system overall.