Labor Candidate for Lane Cove Andrew Zbik has slammed Mike Baird’s cuts to the NSW TAFE system, that have led to soaring course costs - slugging apprentices, trainees and concession card holders wanting to learn new skills and get a job.
Analysis by Labor of more than 40 certificate and diploma qualifications reveals the extent of the unfair increases by the Liberals over the last four years in government.
The worst example is a 6,900 per cent increase in the cost of a Diploma of Air-conditioning and Refrigeration Engineering, which has jumped from $104 in 2011 to $7,280 in 2015. The cost of diploma courses for concession card holders has more than tripled following the decision by the Liberals to cut concession discounts.
For average students completing their first TAFE course, fees have spiked by between 40 and 198 per cent over the last four years.
A labourer completing a Certificate II in Construction now faces course fees of $1,340, when the course was only $450 in 2011.
While the Baird Government has hit apprentices with higher TAFE course fees, the Abbott Government cut $1 billion in support including axing the allowance that helped apprentice tradies purchase tools.
Labor’s $100 million TAFE Rescue Plan will reverse the Baird Government’s TAFE fee hikes for apprentices, saving apprentices up to $900.
Quotes attributable to Labor Candidate for Lane Cove Andrew Zbik
“I’ve met with many people around Lane Cove who are worried about the lack of childcare options in our area. A Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care has increased from $104 in 2011 to $4,380 in 2015. An increase of 4112%. This will make it even harder to attract the people and skills we need to provide this care.”
“We only have to look to the USA where there is no publically funded vocational education system. There, the ‘working poor’ simply do not have the financial means to upskill and pursue career development and so millions of workers are locked into a permanent low-skilled, low-paid, low-quality working life.”
“I’m proud that Labor has committed to reverse the Liberals’ unfair fee increases and ensure the TAFE is well-funded by limiting the portion of public funding that can be contested by the private sector."
FOLLOW THIS LINK FOR FULL DETAILS OF COURSE FEE INCREASES