TAFE crisis amid dramatic hikes in college fees

Posted July 30, 2014 by Together Queensland

The union of public sector workers, Together, is calling on the government to fundamentally re-assess their process in relation to the Queensland Plan.

Together Secretary Alex Scott said today, “It’s no use having a plan for the next 30 years when you haven’t got a plan for the next 30 months.

“Queensland is clearly suffering from a failure of services  by this government and yet we see plan after plan being rolled out.

“What we know with these plans is that they spend tens of thousands of dollars on carefully stage managed consultation followed closely by millions of dollars being spent of taxpayers’ money on an advertising campaign to try and convince Queenslanders that the questions the Queensland government is asking are the real questions.

“We saw under the privatisation process that despite overwhelming opposition the government refused to accept the outcome of that process and the government has clearly shown it’s incapable of listening to Queenslanders about the issues that matter.”

Mr Scott says the issues that matter to Queenslanders regarding privatisation are the failure of services and the rising cost of living.

“We are seeing higher electricity prices but also we are seeing significant increases in costs and a range of other services,” Mr Scott said.

“No matter what the government calls it TAFE college fees are going up in conjunction with the other government’s attack on free education.

“In the universities sector we are seeing costs across the board for TAFE courses being dramatically increased by this government.

“They should be talking about their education plan being about the fact that everybody should have a right to a free quality education.”

Mr Scott says the state is facing higher unemployment as well as less skilling for Queenslanders.

“We think the government needs to refocus on the next 30 months not the next 30 years,” Mr Scott said.

“The Queensland Plan doesn’t address the crisis in hospitals, it doesn’t address the crisis within business and it doesn’t address the crisis within the TAFE colleges.

“We think the government is calling the reduction in subsidy not a TAFE increase but the reality is people who are going to TAFE have seen a dramatic increase in fees across the board this year.

“That’s putting more pressure on Queensland working families and cost of living but it’s also disastrous for the longer term future of Queensland employment.”

Mr Scott said the state needs a strong skill base to match the need for skills in industries including mining because of rising unemployment.

“The removal of government subsidies to the TAFE courses is…increasing the cost of living for thousands of Queensland families and it’s also reducing the number of people attending TAFE courses,” Mr Scott said.

“We will be unable to attract quality jobs and we will rely on importing skilled labour rather than providing a future for our children.”

 


Authorised Alex Scott, Secretary, Together.
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