Verity Firth speaks out on TAFE 2015

"Labor will save TAFE from privatisation. TAFE is a high quality training provider that for many years has also given hundreds of thousands of people a second chance at education. TAFE is key component of our public education system and as a former CEO of the Public Education Foundation, I support the role it plays providing equal access for all to high quality training. Education is the great equaliser in an often unequal world and must always be properly funded and supported."


Sharon Bird on TAFE

"Equipping our young people with the skills and qualifications needed to take on the high skilled, high paying jobs of the future has been an area of particular interest." 
Sharon advocates for better marketing standards for training providers: “This issue has been raised with me a number of times when I was Parliamentary Secretary and Minister for Higher Education and Training and I welcome the release of the findings of the report,” Sharon Bird said.“It is of serious concern that such a high percentage of colleges were identified as having problems with marketing and promotion practices.”
“While ASQA’s report indicates that a percentage of these breaches could be minor, the size of the problem means that these issues need serious attention and action in order for students and employers to be reassured about the quality of training provided and to have confidence in the industry,” Sharon Bird said.“I urge the Government to seriously consider ASQA’s report and the recommendations contained within as soon as possible and I look forward to the Minister’s early response to this report,” Sharon Bird concluded.


Mick Veitch - MLC

"TAFE is a highly valuable public asset that provides many people with a second chance at education. I support the TAFE Community Alliance and their campaign to ensure that TAFE remains accessible to the community."

See Hansard Legislative Council by date 19 September 2013
The Hon. MICK VEITCH [3.49 p.m.]: For many years the TAFE NSW system has been the benchmark for accessible high-quality vocational training, providing skills development to thousands of people across the State for a broad range of industries and study areas. The best way to ensure a strong economy, a strong future and a fair go for everyone starts with a good education and training system that gives people from all backgrounds the opportunity to develop the skills they need to participate in a vibrant and diverse economy.
For more Click here


John Kaye: IPART delivers O'Farrell's whack to TAFE students

Based on the O'Farrell government's obsession with cutting spending on TAFE and subsidising low quality private providers, the independent pricing regulator has delivered a terrible blow to current and future students seeking skills training, according to Greens NSW MP John Kaye.

Dr Kaye was commenting on today's Draft IPART Report 'Pricing VET under Smart and Skilled' ( which recommends increasing charges for 84 percent of students at TAFE and private providers.

Dr Kaye said: "The O'Farrell government and IPART are treating skills like market commodities and students as players. Neither is true and both will lead to a much less capable and fair society.

"The model that IPART used to recommend fee increases to more than 80 percent of students completely ignores the impact of higher charges on people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

"IPART's narrow economic ideology stopped it from considering the critical role skills and fairness play in building a strong society. If they had, they would have rejected the premise that the TAFE budget could be held at its current level, let alone reduced. 

"The O'Farrell government's new user-pays model will exclude hundreds of thousands of prospective students from training and confine them to low skill jobs.

"At the same that time industry, governments and households are complaining of skills shortages, Minister Piccoli is presiding over the destruction of TAFE and the exclusion of low income students from training.

"By trying to imitate competitive market pricing, IPART has imposed an unfair and discriminatory fee structure onto students.

"Setting student fees on the basis of the cost of delivering the training inevitably means that entry to some occupations will become the preserve of advantaged families.

"IPART has designed a recipe for a much less fair society.

"The O'Farrell government and IPART are erecting a massive barrier to entry to skills training that will be insurmountable for tens of thousands of young people and others seeking new opportunities.

"IPART swallowed Education Minister Adrian Piccoli's myth that higher fees were needed to provide more training opportunities.

"The previous Labor government cut TAFE's budget by 48 percent and pushed up fees by more than $62 million a year. The Coalition is further increasing the pressure on students and on TAFE," Dr Kaye said.

For more information: John Kaye 0407 195 455


Penny Sharpe - MLC has offered her assistance in our campaign, and acknowledges that the NSW Labor Opposition is a strong supporter of TAFE and its role as the preeminent provider of quality vocational training and second chance education.

Ron Hoenig - Member for Heffron agrees with the Alliance that the changes to VET in Victoria have been a disaster, and with the Labor Opposition will work to defend TAFE across NSW.

Lynda Voltz - MLC. The Alliance met with Lynda Voltz who offered to publicise our concerns and distribute leaflets and petitions.


Alex Greenwich, Independent for Sydney

I met with TAFE Community Alliance members recently to hear their concerns that TAFE is being compromised and undermined by funding cuts and plans to make most funding contestable in 2014. I support the campaign to protect vocational education and training across the State and keep costs low for students, especially second chance education.


Carmel Tebutt

Member of the Legislative Assembly 
Member for Marrickville 
Shadow Minister for Education and Training 
Member of the Australian Labor Party
'People in NSW are rightly proud of TAFE – it plays a key role in tackling skills shortages, training the plumbers, electricians, hairdressers and chefs of the future. It provides educational opportunities for those who have disengaged from education for whatever reason and gives people mid career or re entering the workforce the chance to upgrade their skills.'

Follow this link to see the strong resolution in support of TAFE that is recommended to ALP branches,

Doug Cameron

Senator for New South Wales 
Australian Labor Party 
I’m pleased to support the TAFE Community Alliance. TAFE is an absolute institution in this country. It started the lives, and it saved the lives of many, many, many people, and we need to keep funding it. We can’t simply be an economy, we’ve got to be a society, and TAFE is fundamental to a good society.


Chris Bowen

Member for McMahon, New South Wales 
Australian Labor Party 
House of Representatives 
Whilst Federal Minister for Tertiary Education Chris Bowen said in Parliament on 12 February 2013 that TAFE is at the frontline in skills training which is vital for our economy. He went on to say that all members on his side of the house (the Government) opposed the cuts to vocational education, and gave examples of NSW, Victoria and Queensland cuts to TAFE.

Gordon Bradbery

Lord Mayor of Wollongong OAM 
As Lord Mayor I recognise the central role of TAFE in the building of the social, cultural and economic capacity of communities, not least the Illawarra. Education is the gateway to providing opportunities to the youth to enable them to reach their full potential and others to reengage n the workforce. We all must support our region and the industries which provide employment and the educational institutions, such as TAFE, which support our communities economic and social sustainability.

Mr Ryan Park

Member of the Legislative Assembly 
Member for Keira 
Shadow Minister for Roads 
Member of the Australian Labor Party 
I would like to congratulate all those involved in the TAFE Community Alliance. TAFE within the community is vital to help address the skills shortage. The highly professional and trained staff need to be provided with adequate funding and resources to ensure the longevity here in NSW. I support the Alliance and their campaign to maintain TAFE's vital role in vocational education and training.

Greg Piper

Member of the Legislative Assembly 
Member for Lake Macquarie 
It is critical that TAFE continue to offer quality vocational education and training that is affordable and accessible to all sections of the community. Further increasing fees will effectively prohibit many prospective students from accessing TAFE courses, which will be reflected in a diminished skilled workforce and the loss of opportunity for individuals to progress to higher-level qualifications. The resultant effect on the community and employers is potentially devastating.

Cherie Burton

Member of the Legislative Assembly 
Member for Kogarah
Member of the Australian Labor Party:
"I have never supported a competitive training market as an alternative to TAFE. I am a strong supporter of TAFE and believe TAFE offers the highest quality training for people in and entering the workforce."