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Jozefa SobskiJozefa Sobski:
profile & archive of speeches & letters

Linda SimonsLinda Simon:
Profile & speeches

TCA Letter to State MPs August 2018

TAFE NSW Budget in crisis - The TAFE Community Alliance has been receiving alarming reports of budgetary problems in TAFE NSW, and funding not being allocated to frontline services such as teaching and student support services. This has been highlighted in a media report today around a lack of toilet paper in TAFE NSW facilities. Read more. pdf


Dawn Walker "TAFE is in a critical state. It has suffered ruthless budget cuts under a series of NSW Governments, the recent privatization agenda has seen money diverted from our public TAFE system to for-profit providers and thriving TAFE campuses are being closed and replaced with inadequate online learning facilities. The Greens NSW are committed to defending TAFE from these attacks and restoring it as the primary vocational educator in NSW." Read more.pdf

Alex Greenwich wrote to Adam Marshall expressing his shared concerns about the state of TAFE and received this response from Adam Marshall pdf

Pru Goward's response was remarkably similar to that of Adam Marshall. pdf

Media Releases

Who Owns TAFE

A Future for TAFE

TAFE ChampionsTCA Spokespersons

Pollies TalkTAFE

As part of its advocacy role, the Alliance seeks a commitment from political parties in the upcoming elections to ensure that TAFE should exist and be supported by government to provide quality training incorporating ongoing development of appropriate educational pedagogy.  The statement of commitment published by the TAFE Community Alliance says: “We expect a commitment to a statewide publicly-owned technical and further education system.  We expect this system to grow and flourish as it meets the priorities of educational, social and industry policy.  We do not expect this system to operate like a business to break even or make a profit, but a public education and training system serving society efficiently and providing value and quality for the public dollar.”

Party Statements


Senate Inquiry into TAFE pdf

IPART response pdf

NSW Parliamentary Economic Development Committee

"The Committee finds that TAFE NSW is the backbone of vocational education and training in NSW and that to achieve the state’s economic and social priorities it is vital that TAFE NSW receives appropriate and adequate funding."

To read full report pdf

Report on False Economies

Read the report from Centre for Policy Development. pdfIt is their series on False Economies. TAFE is referred to in the report where there is comparison of the work of TAFE and private RTOs.  

Enterprise Agreement Negotiations

TAFE NSW and AEU NSW Teachers Federation met on 21 July and 5 August in negotiations for a new enterprise agreement for TAFE teachers and related employees. more

Laughing Assassins Pleased with Scholarships

'Fees were raised for more than half of TAFE courses this year, with some reaching $10,000, under the NSW government's market reforms. The collapse of a new computer enrolment system meanwhile prevented thousands of students from enrolling.' Read more...

Opposition's Education Spokesman

David Harris, said the 2,000 job losses had led to bigger class sizes.

"Students are starting to suffer," he said.

"We're seeing problems with enrolment and supporting students in their learning.

"We're seeing hours having to be cut to deliver courses and we're seeing students not being able to have access to equipment."

Election 2019 - Stand up for TAFE

Fewer TAFE Students & Teachers, More Administrative Staff

Media Release

The news is bad in the just released TAFE NSW Annual Report. There is a loss of $239m over the year 2017/18. Support staff have increased from 4194 in June 2017 to 4568 in June 2018. Teaching staff have declined from 5482 to 5458.

Stand Up for TAFE Trivia

A memorable event. Thanks everyone who attended our fundraiser trivia night for our Stand up for TAFE campaign. It was a wonderful night with many familiar faces and lots of conversation about TAFE. TAFE needs our support more than ever. The Stand Up for TAFE trivia night kicks off our campaign for 2019 elections. Watch this space. Thanks especially to Addison Rd Community Centre and the many people who contributed to a great evening.

Stand Up for TAFE

We welcome Caralee McLiesh as the Managing Director of TAFE NSW

The Hon John Barilaro MP is Minister for Regional Development, Skills and Small Business - which includes TAFE NSW with Adam Marshall as the Minister for Skills

Prue Car is the Shadow Minister for Skills in NSW

Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash is the Minister for Vocational Edcuation

Kate Ellis Shadow Minister for Vocational Education

Bipartisan Catastrophe

"What started as a bipartisan Commonwealth strategy to privatise vocational education and training (VET) by enhancing skills through a dynamic competitive market, has ended with allegations of corruption and malfeasance. Worse than that, it has resulted in the deskilling of Australia and $3 billion in dubious VET loans, part of an estimated $13 billion blowout in all unrecoverable student loans to 2017."

Read more

Government Report Endorses Labor TAFE Policy

The Turnbull Government’s own report on the review of the National Partnership Agreement on Skills Reform, released today, has proven that Labor’s National Partnership Agreement did require TAFE to be protected and also provided evidence that this has not been the case under the Abbott/Turnbull/Morrison Governments.

The TAFE plunder

How to lose $4 billion without even trying.

The federal government's botched vocational education and training scheme has cost taxpayers $6 billion. TAFEs, unable to compete with the private institutions, have been forced to close and thousands of teachers have lost their jobs. ReporterPaddy Manning investigates the rorting and the incompetence.



TAFEs shabby treatment

'The state government’s Smart and Skilled policy for vocational training is at the very least misname. It is discouraging would-be students from signing up to gain skills. Nothing smart about that, one would think. "

'TAFE was once the part of the education system that helped individuals negotiate the sometimes difficult transition from school to work.

It provided not only vocational education pure and simple, but also a safety net for those who had abandoned school early and subsequently wanted to return to the education system, whether to improve their work qualifications, or to broaden their minds.

It was an organic, flexible organisation that could offer students from different backgrounds, and in a wide range of personal circumstances, a way to improve themselves.

Now that schooling to the end of you 12 is, for better or worse, virtually compulsory, there is less need for that remedial role.

As universities, competing desperately for students, offer more and more vocational training courses which lead to a degree, not just a certificate, TAFE finds itself squeezed on several sides.

Both those trends, however, should be questioned. For many young people, schools are uncongenial and discouraging prices; more of them should be encouraged into TAFE courses.

Universities both demean their status and waste money by offering courses more appropriate for TAFE. Funding for education, like everything else, is limited, and must be made to stretch as far as possible.

Governments federal and state should think long and hard before they allow a sector of education as useful and as efficient as TAFE to expire through neglect. "


Who we are

The TAFE Community Alliance is an advocacy and strategy group that recognises the central role of the public VET provider in the building of social, cultural and economic capacity of communities across NSW. The Alliance campaigns to maintain TAFE's central role in vocational education and training.

No matter who you are TAFE is open to everyone.

TAFE gives everyone a second chance, the opportunity to learn skills for employment and an opportunity to contribute to the community. If you are uncertain about your career or need more education and training; TAFE has always been there - affordable, accessible - providing great quality education and professional specialist student support. There is a TAFE College in every community across NSW.

Redesigning VET FEE-Help

The Government was warned years ago of the possible consequences of the introduction of VET FEEHelp without the proper regulations in place. A case in point is the issues raised by the TAFE Directors Australia 2011/12 National Charter for TAFE: “TDA asserts that until the new VET regulatory system is firmly in place, it is folly to provide open access to government training funds on the basis of demand alone. To do so invites a repetition of practices that occurred in the international market. The issue of the viability of the market in terms of the number of providers, the associated risks and the cost of regulating them has been ignored, to the detriment of Australia’s reputation.” Read More

The National Scandal

Whilst the TAFE Community Alliance welcomes the opportunity to participate in the discussion paper and to contribute to the options presented, we also want to put it clearly on the record that we are appalled at the national scandal that has been propagated through the implementation of VET FEE-HELP. It is a national scandal and we are surprised that governments have not acknowledged that it is so. $2.9 billion has been borrowed tofund VET FEE-HELP loans as of 2015, and the paper acknowledges that the Government does not expect a large proportion of these loans to be repaid. In saying this, the Government must also be acknowledging that a large proportion of these loans were inappropriately made.

Read more

John Kaye - TAFE Hero

Since the las t election we lost a great man, a friend and a tireless campaigner for TAFE. The rallies will never seem the same without John at our side.

John Kaye TAFE hero

TCA is appalled that the Berejiklian Government continues to take even more funding from TAFE, and increase student fees above already unreasonable rates. Fees are obviously going to keep increasing, making an entitlement model a joke. Contact your local State MP and protest

Berejiklian locks in multibillion-dollar pokies deal with Clubs NSW

TAFE training facilities and Service NSW kiosks could be located inside registered clubs across the state, under a deal struck between the NSW government and the powerful clubs lobby that also maintains the special tax treatment for the pokies industry for another four years.

The agreement between the Coalition and Clubs NSW, signed at the conclusion of Responsible Gambling Awareness Week at the weekend, has reignited criticism from anti-gambling advocates over the government's relationship with the clubs lobby. Read more...

Jozefa Sobski Statement to Senate Inquirypdf

"The TCA views TAFE as a public education and training system for building a productive and skilled workforce and an inclusive and fair society."

TCA VFH Senate Submission

We want to put on record the damage that the wider application of VET FEE-HELP has made to the VET system, its providers and students. Submissionpdf

Why so long?

Why has it taken the Government and the ACCC so long to realise the money that was being ripped out of the system, and the students being taken for a ride?

The ABC reports the consumer watchdog targeting a second private training college, alleging it signed up vulnerable people — some with intellectual disabilities — and citing problems with the Government's VET FEE-HELP system.

TCA Letter to Minister Barilaro

'The TAFE Community Alliance welcomed both your freeze on TAFE fees and the reduction of fees for some pathways courses. ...' Read the letterpdf

TCA Letter to PM

'The Alliance has been particularly concerned at the impact of VET reforms on the quality and sustainability of TAFE Institutes across the country...' Read the letterpdf

Flaws of free-market thinking

Senator Simon Birmingham says the low completion rates are "absolutely unacceptable. See Letters to the editor: "Governments constantly call for more skilled workers, yet at the same time have cut the funding to TAFE so significantly, that it is just a shadow of its former self. Courses are being closed, hours cut and fees are also out of the reach of many Australians. Is this the sort of vocational education system we want in Australia?"

The state budget revealed 83,000 fewer students enrolled in 2015 than in 2012, despite a $2-billion investment this year.

Short sighted and damaging
School leavers vote with their feet
Ghost town campus

Students hit hard - TCA Repsonse

WAVE National Conference 2015

WAVE partnered with Manufacturing Skills Australia to hold its national conference entitled 'Leaders, teachers, learners, leavers:  Women in the Australian VET market'.

No matter who you are TAFE is open to everyone.

TAFE gives everyone a second chance, the opportunity to learn skills for employment and an opportunity to contribute to the community. If you are uncertain about your career or need more education and training; TAFE has always been there - affordable, accessible - providing great quality education and professional specialist student support. There is a TAFE College in every community across NSW.