Row over Drys­dale deal

Anger that pri­vate train­ing out­fit given access to fa­cil­i­ties

Sunday Tasmanian - - News - DAVID BENIUK

AN in­dus­try takeover of the Drys­dale hos­pi­tal­ity col­lege has be­gun, with a pri­vate train­ing provider granted access to its fa­cil­i­ties, TasTAFE teach­ers claim.

An agree­ment will al­low reg­is­tered train­ing or­gan­i­sa­tion In­dus­tryLink to train ap­pren­tices in Drys­dale’s class­rooms and kitchens from later this month.

It comes as both the State Gov­ern­ment and La­bor Oppo- sition adopt a heavy­weight task­force’s rec­om­men­da­tion that Drys­dale be over­seen by its own board of in­dus­try rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

“It’s pri­vati­sa­tion by stealth,” Aus­tralian Ed­u­ca­tion Union TasTAFE pres­i­dent Damian von Samorzewski said.

“It’s a pub­lic en­tity and it’s been opened up for a pri­vate for-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion to use at cheap rates.”

The task­force, which included mem­bers from Mona and Fed­eral Group, crit­i­cised the once world-renowned col­lege for fail­ing to ad­dress a crip­pling tourism and hos­pi­tal­ity skills short­age.

The Hodg­man Gov­ern­ment has an­nounced a $3.2 mil­lion up­grade of the fa­cil­ity to turn it into a cen­tre of ex­cel­lence.

“That $3.2 mil­lion is tax­pay­ers’ money so why are they ac­tu­ally us­ing that money to sup­port a for-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion?” Mr von Samorzewski said.

“They’re spend­ing that money to up­grade Drys­dale, not for TAFE to use, but to al­low a for-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion to come in and use the fa­cil­i­ties.”

Staff have been told a group of 15 ap­pren­tices will use the Drys­dale Ho­bart fa­cil­i­ties on four oc­ca­sions be­tween Septem­ber and November.

The agree­ment is be­ing de­scribed as a “com­mer­cial ar­range­ment” con­sis­tent with obli­ga­tions un­der the leg­is­la­tion gov­ern­ing TasTAFE to part­ner with other providers. In­dus­tryLink will be charged $600 for a day in the kitchen and $170 for each of the other three days in a class­room.

“As well as be­ing a pre­mium train­ing fa­cil­ity, the cen­tre of ex­cel­lence will open its doors to in­dus­try with the cre­ation of in­fra­struc­ture, in­clud­ing a train­ing kitchen, for in­dus­try and other reg­is­tered train­ing providers to use,” a TasTAFE spokes­woman said.

“TasTAFE Drys­dale will help to ad­dress the cur­rent skills short­age in the in­dus­try and en­sure tourism and hos­pi­tal­ity train­ing is flex­i­ble, re­spon­sive and con­sis­tent with what busi­ness is look­ing for.”

In­dus­tryLink chief ex­ec­u­tive Tony Kennedy said he had asked to rent the Drys­dale “un­der-utilised” fa­cil­i­ties be­cause his or­gan­i­sa­tion’s were at ca­pac­ity.

“We want to col­lab­o­rate with TasTAFE to cre­ate the best tourism and hos­pi­tal­ity cam­pus in Aus­tralia,” he said.

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