Michelle Rowland MP, Member for Greenway, convened a forum for local residents last week on the future of TAFE and vocational education in response to many residents’ concerns about TAFE cuts. Amongst the many issues raised by locals at mobile offices and whilst doorknocking, concerns about skills for the future have been prominent.
Among the key concerns are;
- Opportunities for skills training
- Preparing for the jobs of the future in Western Sydney, and
- Keeping TAFE properly funded
The forum was held at Max Webber Library in Blacktown during National Skills Week, with Senator Doug Cameron, Shadow Minister for Skills and Apprenticeships and Prue Car MP, NSW Shadow Minister for Skills.
The forum was attended by over 80 local residents and was an opportunity for locals to share their ideas about the future of TAFE. Some residents, including current students, also expressed their concerns about cuts to TAFE courses and support services.
Local residents shared their stories about how TAFE has impacted on them and their families, helping themselves and their families get the skills necessary for a rewarding career.
The productivity and prosperity of Australia depends on Australia having strong vocational education through TAFE. Yet both the NSW and Federal Governments are failing on every measure in relation to skills.
There are 148,000 fewer trainees and apprentices than when the Liberals came to government. There are 46,000 fewer trade apprentices. This is not good enough.
As Australia transitions from a manufacturing economy to a services based economy, it is crucial TAFE education is properly funded to provide current and future students with the necessary skills.
“Many residents at the forum shared their own experiences of TAFE. Sadly, many shared their concerns for the future of TAFE under the current Liberal Governments, which cuts to disability support in TAFE and the unprecedented fee increases among the concerns,” Ms Rowland said.
“I am committed to making sure TAFE is properly funded so local residents can achieve world class vocational education right here in Western Sydney. TAFE is crucial in providing the necessary skills for the jobs of the future right across our region,” Ms Rowland said.