The Greens will fight to reverse funding cuts to TAFE courses to ensure TAFE and other public technical and training is eventually universally free in order to make education accessible for all Australians.
Greens workforce and training spokesperson Alison Xamon said in the short term the Greens would introduce regulations mandating the provision of adequate fee concessions across all courses for low-income and disadvantaged students. These would apply to both tuition and resource fees.
“We know TAFE students’ course fees have increased by as much as 650 per cent, which for too many West Australians has made getting an education in Western Australia unaffordable,” she said.
“We will fight to reverse the $100million cuts made to TAFE courses and fight against an additional $70million of cuts by June this year.”
Ms Xamon said research showed that by 2025 there will be a deficit of around 60,000 skilled workers in WA.
“In a time where we have a skills shortage, you would think Colin Barnett’s Liberal Government would want to make it easier to fill that shortage through education and training,” she said.
“Instead the Barnett Government has gutted TAFE and made it too hard for West Australians to retrain away from a resources dependent economy.”
The Greens Skilled WA policy will:
· Reverse all cuts made by the State government to the TAFE sector;
· Increase overall funding per student;
· Make TAFE and other public technical and further education and training universally free in the mid-to-long term;
· Introduce regulations mandating the provision of adequate fee concessions across all courses for low socio-economic, low-income, and disadvantaged students. These would apply to both tuition and resource fees.
· Ensure that ‘Access’ and ‘Equity’ courses under the Future Skills WA program will stay at the lowest fee rate.;
· Commit to adequate and guaranteed funding for professional welfare service provision within all TAFE institutions across the state.