Row over Drysdale deal
Anger that private training outfit given access to facilities
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.