TAFE SA will be cutting subsidised childcare, aged care, and disability courses from metro campuses starting next year. This will force students to study with private providers.
TAFE SA chief executive David Coltman advised staff last week that 20 courses would be scrapped from metro campuses in 2021. While trainees and apprentices will still have access to some of the courses, there will be no more places for students.
Students will have to instead now train with a private Registered Training Organisation. There are concerns that this will significantly increase the cost of study for students, meaning that many would be locked out of vocational education in this area.
Quotes attributable to Tammy Franks MLC:
“COVID-19 in particular has shown us this year how vital these caring vocations are in our communities. Why are we ripping support and funding away from students who want to pursue caring careers?
“Some of these courses that are being cut are vital for training people to provide essential social and community services. We are pushing students into the private sector, increasing the costs for them to study while decreasing the quality of tuition they receive.
“TAFE SA have said that they’re doing this to ‘pivot’ their training to respond to the changing needs of industries and to respond to the challenges created by COVID-19. How can this be the case when we know that jobs in the health and caring sectors are growing in South Australia, and when we’ve had COVID highlight just how much we need well-trained workers in these industries?
“Our public training provider must be providing training for the public good. To cut these courses goes against that.