Kevin Bates
QTU President

President’s comment, 13 August 2013

TAFE and the election

While schools funding in the form of the Gonski dollars remains the big-ticket point of difference between the major parties in this federal election campaign, vocational education and training, or more particularly TAFE, is also emerging as a key issue.

The Greens are the only party to specifically target TAFE as a funding priority, and to reject the vocational training competition policies of the other major parties as a risk to Australia’s skilled future. To help overcome the damage done by the growing contestability agenda and to redress various state government’s cuts to TAFE budgets, the Greens’ policy is to inject an extra $400m per year for TAFE to a total of $1.2b from 1 July 2014. 

The ALP has released a “Step into Skills” policy, which will be “delivered primarily through TAFE”, according to its policy document.  Aimed at enhancing the second-chance education which is – or should be – one of the many reasons why TAFE is highly valued in Australian society, the plan is for $35m over three years to be directed to people between 16 and 24 years of age to develop basic skills including literacy and numeracy, problem solving and communication.

The Coalition has so far not announced any detailed policies on TAFE.

Kevin Bates

Authorised by Graham Moloney, General Secretary, Queensland Teachers' Union,
21 Graham St, Milton Q 4064