With ASQA issuing a notice of “intention to remove or suspend” 16 TAFE SA qualifications unless TAFE SA improve their courses, the Greens have renewed their calls for the Weatherill Government to rescue TAFE from the failings of corporatisation.
Greens Education and Training spokesperson, Tammy Franks MLC, who has sat on two recent select committee inquiries into the troubled TAFE and VET sector said: “The Greens weren’t surprised by the ASQA notice. From talking to those at the chalkface we already know that we have a serious problem in our skills training sector.
“TAFE needs saving with major surgery, not with a soothing band aid. These audits are showing up issues well after things have gone horribly wrong, we need to restore a strong, well-funded and proudly public TAFE system to make sure things go right from the start.
“That will take some unpicking but the Greens stood against the bid to corporatisation of TAFE back in 2012 and we pledge to stand with the Weatherill government now if they seek to restore the public TAFE system.
“In the meantime, installing a VET Ombudsman right now will assist students and staff struggling with the broken corporatised body. It will ensure our students are getting the education they were promised and that public monies are not being wasted or rorted
“We warned the Weatherill Government that they were heading the wrong way on TAFE when they corporatized it in 2012. It gives us no joy now to see that corporatisation failing our students and failing our state.
“The only fix now is to start again. Unpick the fabric of corporatisation and restore a strong public TAFE sector with full ministerial accountability. Audits don’t fix problems, they identify them. It is the State Government’s recent ‘hands off’ approach that has seen standards fall and systems fail. It is time they rolled up their sleeves and got on with the hard work of restoring a functional public system with the first class skills development for our workforce we so desperately need.”