Shadow Minister for Training Skills Apprenticeships, Steph Ryan
An Auditor General’s report into TAFE has confirmed Daniel Andrews’ so-called TAFE rescue is a failure, with short-term cash grants artificially inflating TAFEs’ bottom lines.
The Report raises concerns about long-term viability of TAFEs, including:
– ‘the long-term challenges of generating adequate surpluses to maintain and renew assets remain. This is a key ongoing risk for the sector’. (page ix)
– Four TAFEs are spending more employing staff than they get in training revenue (page 24)
– Spending on TAFE assets fell dramatically in 2015, with the Report noting “this could mean over time, TAFE assets will no longer be fit for purpose.” (page 17)
The short-term cash grants have come from money that was set aside to subsidise student places.
Steve Herbert admitted to Labor’s pea-and-thimble trick during the recent Public Accounts and Estimates (PAEC) hearings:
Mr D. O’BRIEN—Minister, just confirming, so that 50 million or 51 million—whichever figure it is— was unspent money in the VTG [Victorian Training Guarantee]. That is correct? That is what you said?
Mr HERBERT—Yes, that is correct.
In addition to the $50 million of student training subsidies redirected to short-term cash grants, it was also revealed at PAEC that a further $126 million earmarked for student training was returned to consolidated revenue.
Comments from Shadow Minister for Training, Skills and Apprenticeships Steph Ryan:
“Daniel Andrews and Steve Herbert have done a 180 on TAFE. Instead of growing enrolments and increasing funding for student training, under Labor there are now fewer students getting the skills they need to get a job.
“Student enrolments continue to plummet under the Andrews Labor Government, with $176 million redirected away from student subsidies last year alone.”
Media contact: Emma Manser 0437 225 386 firstname.lastname@example.org