Tafe to lose 230 staff in re­forms

Cockburn Gazette - - NEWS - Josh Zimmerman

AT least 230 ad­min­is­tra­tive jobs will be axed as part of re­forms de­signed to com­bat a bloated Tafe sys­tem and save $23 mil­lion a year.

As of April 11, the 70 WA cam­puses cur­rently ad­min­is­tered by 11 TAFE col­leges will in­stead come un­der the gov­er­nance of just five.

All cam­puses in Perth will be ad­min­is­tered by ei­ther North or South Metropoli­tan Tafe – the State Govern­ment also opt­ing to re­in­state the well-known Tafe brand.

Deputy Premier and Min­is­ter for Train­ing and Work­force De­vel­op­ment Liza Har­vey said free­ing up more money in the sec­tor would be “ad­van­ta­geous when it comes to look­ing at fees”, but stopped short of promis­ing an ac­tual de­crease.

“I had a re­form team look at the Tafe struc­ture and what the re­view rec­om­mended was col­laps­ing those struc­tures (from 11) into five ad­min­is­tra­tive cen­tres and five gov­ern­ing coun­cils,” she said.

“This is not about lec­tur­ers los­ing their jobs and it is not about any stu­dent not be­ing able to ac­cess the pro­gram they were ac­cess­ing prior to April 11 when th­ese changes oc­cur.”

Mrs Har­vey con­ceded that some cour­ses may no longer be avail­able at their cur­rent cam­puses, but said the new struc­ture would pro­mote a col­lab­o­ra­tive re­la­tion­ship be­tween in­sti­tutes.

“It might be that you of­fer one pro­gram at one cam­pus and an­other at a dif­fer­ent cam­pus,” she said.

“Be­tween the two you get enough num­bers to have a vi­able pro­gram op­er­at­ing at two dif­fer­ent sites, rather than two or three cam­puses run­ning a pro­gram with low stu­dent num­bers, which brings in vi­a­bil­ity and ef­fi­ciency prob­lems.

“By col­laps­ing into five Tafe struc­tures and bet­ter col­lab­o­ra­tion you could, for ex-

LOOK LOCALWA. am­ple, have Cen­tral In­sti­tute in the city send a lec­turer up to the Kim­ber­ley or Pil­bara to de­liver course con­tent that wasn’t pre­vi­ously avail­able.”

Op­po­si­tion spokesman on Train­ing Fran Lo­gan said the re­forms were an ad­mis­sion that the State Govern­ment had failed Tafe stu­dents.

“This is not a re­struc­ture. The Lib­er­als are try­ing to clean up the mess they have cre­ated with their huge fee in­creases by amal­ga­mat­ing col­leges and sack­ing an­other 230 staff,” he said.

“The min­is­ter is kid­ding her­self if she thinks this will not im­pact on the qual­ity of education for Tafe stu­dents.

“You can’t cut this many jobs and re­duce the num­ber of cam­puses with­out im­pact­ing on learn­ing out­comes.”

State School Teach­ers Union WA vice-pres­i­dent Sa­man­tha Schofield said while the union was not fun­da­men­tally op­posed to an amal­ga­ma­tion model, it was con­cerned that more money was go­ing to be cut from the Tafe sys­tem.

“We have al­ready seen $110 mil­lion stripped from the Tafe sys­tem over the past three years,” she said.

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Metropoli­tan Tafe cam­pus lo­ca­tions.

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