On February 22 2013 the TAFE Community Alliance was formally launched in the heart of western Sydney at Western Sydney Community Forum, Parramatta. Hundreds of concerned citizens had already signed up to the Alliance. They call on both state and Federal governments and all political parties to ensure that TAFE continues to be supported inNSW, and that we do not face the loss of courses and campuses like our colleagues in Victoria.
Quotes from our speakers:
"For the first time in a century, NSW is staring at a future without a public provider of vocational education and training. Budget cuts, attacks on the conditions for teachers and students and increasingly aggressive competition for funds and students are taking TAFE to the brink of collapse.This will have appalling consequences for the future of the state. Today's meeting is the first step in building community awareness of what is at stake if the O'Farrell government continues with its attacks on TAFE."
“TAFE is described as the backbone of the training system in the publicity on Smart and Skilled. Why are governments intent on breaking this back with increasing commercialization and competition and decreasing funding? There is pressure to cheapen its courses while making it dearer to study them. The downgrading of teaching qualifications is eroding the quality of its teachers. The standard of its facilities is at risk. The community, commerce, business and industry need a widely distributed, effective, accessible and affordable TAFE system, there for the most vulnerable as well as the most well-heeled.”
“TAFE is well known as the major provider of 'second chance' education opportunities for those who may not have enjoyed successful educational experiences previously. It is the biggest provider of affordable, accessible training in key skills for our communities, especially for people on income support or low incomes and poor transport options. Many communities across Greater Western Sydney will be adversely impacted upon by cuts to TAFE.”
''The TAFE Community Alliance is an advocacy and strategy group. It recognises and cares about TAFE’s role in not just educating individuals, but also in the building of the social, cultural andeconomic capacity of communities across NSW. TAFE accommodates the needs of people who have disabilities, Aboriginal students and those from non-English speaking backgrounds. The Alliance knows that TAFE is too important to lose, and will campaign to stop its demise.''