QTU President's comment : 1 July 2014

New era for TAFE in Queensland

A major change in a 130-year history of providing high-quality public education in the vocational education and training sector took place at midnight last night when TAFE Queensland took control of Queensland TAFE colleges.

The election of the Newman government in 2012 saw a dramatic escalation of threats to TAFE as the public provider of VET. The most concerning features of the changes that take effect from today include:

  • the new TAFE Queensland entity is a statutory authority operating in a 100% contestable market
  • the LNP government's "investment" in skills will result in massive increases in costs to students for the same TAFE courses: in some cases, as much as a 10-fold increase
  • TAFE no longer owns or operates the buildings it owned just yesterday.

Another fundamental change is that TAFE employees are no longer public servants. The QTU has been keeping a close watch on transfer arrangements to the new authority; so far, it appears that our members who are now TAFE Queensland employees will retain their previous working conditions. The QTU will continue to closely monitor developments and protect members’ rights, as well as advocate for TAFE’s community service obligations.

TAFE6.jpgWhat hasn’t changed is the dedication and professionalism of TAFE employees; whoever their technical employer may be. Teaching always has been, and always will be, the heart of TAFE.

Kevin Bates
QTU President