TAFE teacher recruitment drive labelled ‘band aid’ solution after years of cuts

27/04/2020 Posted by admin

Picture: Phil Hearne.THE NSW TeachersFederation fears the government’s establishment of a TAFE NSW Teacher Recruitment Taskforce istoo little too late to rejuvenate the organisation.
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The government announced on Thursday it was seeking to employ 253 new frontline teaching staff across the state, with the majority to deliver training in construction industry trades.

Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald said 16 new teachers would start at five of the region’s campuses; two at Kurri Kurri, two at Maitland, six at Newcastle, two at Belmont and four at Glendale.

“These new teachers are a huge win for the Hunter and will deliver education and training support to our local students to help them upskill or get a new job,” MrMacDonaldsaid.

“TAFE is modernising and responding to new technologies and the transforming economy of the Hunter under the leadership of the Berejiklian government.”

Minister responsible for TAFE NSW Adam Marshall saidthe “unparalleled construction boom” across the state would require 21,600 additional skilled construction workers over the next three years.

“The NSW Government is driving an infrastructure pipeline that is creating careers for tens of thousands of people across trades like plumbing, electrical and construction,” hesaid.

Mr Marshall said government-funded enrolments at TAFE NSW have increased 19 per cent for electricians and 11 per cent for carpenters and plumbers compared to this time last year.

ButNSW Teachers Federation vice President Henry Rajendra said the recruitment followed the government’s “relentless attack” on the organisation withmajor job cuts, campuses closed and courses slashed.

“Adam Marshall will have to do a lot more work to rejuvenate the TAFE system than recruit a few hundred teachers,” Mr Rajendra said

“There have been more than 6000 teaching and administrative staff cut from TAFE in recent years, with courses slashed across the state despite the increasing level of student demand.

“We need the NSW Government to stop TAFE cuts and restore funding to rebuild TAFE which was once one of the best vocational education systems in the world.

“Adam Marshall needs to significantly increase the number of permanent TAFE teachers to cover the thousands of jobs the Coalition has cut.”

Mr Rajendra said the government should devote 70 per cent of its skills budget to TAFE instead of relying on private providers.

“We want to know what the Berejiklian Government is going to do to assist the 125,000 students who have missed out on a TAFE education which has severely impacted their life prospects.”

Member for Swansea, Yasmin Catley, said the recruitment drive was a “band aid fix”.

She said teachers were asked as recently as December 2017 to reapply for their jobs after a reduction in the number of positions available.

“We’re hearing more and more reports about skills shortages in NSW and it is bleedingly obvious to me that it’s because the government has failed to invest in skills and failed to invest in the future,” she said.

“I know that the government was dishing out redundancies to local teachers right up until this month, so it ishypocrisy of the highest order when they turn around and claim that they’re delivering a skills legacy.”

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