TAFE report tabled in parliament

AN annual report tabled in State Parliament yesterday presented a grim picture of the true impact of funding cuts for Bendigo TAFE, say members for Bendigo West and Bendigo East. 

Bendigo West member Maree Edwards said the report showed a drop in student numbers and an increase in students fees.

She said it highlighted the closure of the Bendigo TAFE childcare centre and huge job cuts.  

Ms Edwards said the report was only reflective of the past year and did not include the ongoing problems experienced in 2014 as a result of funding cuts. 

"With a youth unemployment figure of over 13 per cent in our region, young people are being shut out of future training and jobs because Denis Napthine has decimated Bendigo TAFE," she said.

The state government revealed it would cut $100 million in funding to TAFEs each year in its 2012 budget. 

Member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allen said Bendigo TAFE was at risk of relocating from its city campus because of the cuts. 

"This has been an education site since the 1860s," she said.  

"Denis Napthine's TAFE cut is forcing the closure of this campus by stealth.

"Mr Napthine is hoping that no one will notice this shut down."

Higher Education and Skills Minister Nick Wakeling welcomed the report and said it was pleasing to see TAFEs were creating new partnerships with other education providers to deliver training across the state. 

"Victoria's TAFE sector is in the middle of an exciting transformation to help ensure it continues to deliver high-quality training that leads to better outcomes for pupils, employers and industry," he said. 

"Training data for 2013 released this week shows Victoria's stand-alone TAFE sector has maintained enrolment numbers in a competitive market.

"There has been significant growth achieved at some TAFEs with more students training in areas of skills shortage and key skills needed in the economy."

He said a number of TAFEs had reported strong financial results during 2013. 

"Boards, management and staff of all TAFEs should be proud of the achievements their hard work has delivered."

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