The loss of 100 Bendigo TAFE staff will impact heavily on this community.
The end of 39 TAFE courses will narrow opportunities for young people in our region.
Kyneton will also feel the pressure, with its small campus to close.
The Bendigo community knew this day was coming in the wake of state government budget cuts to the TAFE system, but the scale of staff and course losses still came as a shock yesterday.
As unfair as it seems that students can no longer get a TAFE education in 39 fields of choice, it’s hard to argue against the financial responsibility of closing courses with small student numbers.
In the financial climate handed to TAFE, courses with low patronage were always going to be first in line when cuts were made.
But on a sad day, Bendigo TAFE chief executive officer Maria Simpson issued this community with a challenge.
She urged business to ‘vote with their feet’ in support of TAFE by sending their staff to the education facility above others.
It’s a positive request from someone obviously keen to see TAFE survive in this city. Whether this community takes up Ms Simpon’s challenge or not will probably determine the future of the TAFE institution in our city.
Perhaps the most disappointing thing from yesterday was the state government’s refusal to accept any blame for this dark day. You can not strip $9 million from a facility and then say you have nothing to do with staffing levels.
Your budget cuts led to this day and what we as a community would prefer to hear is how you are going to help the 100 people we feel for today and provide for those students who no longer have a career path once available to them.