Michelle Purdy, Federal TAFE President: If I Were Education Minister...

Q How will your government restore TAFE to its rightful place as the premier provider of vocational education in this country?

A “Under current financial arrangements, TAFEs are working on a shoestring, only employing enough teachers to deliver what they absolutely must.

We would guarantee that a minimum of 70 per cent of all VET funding goes to TAFE. Since 30 per cent of that funding is federal, the rest goes to state and territory governments so we must ensure they do their fair share as well.

Part of that funding should be used to employ teachers and support staff in permanent positions.

Contestable funding must go. We need to allocate an annual budget suitable to operate and improve the infrastructure of TAFEs, because many campuses around the country are in very old buildings and use outdated technology.

We have a real opportunity to ensure we guarantee the right funding, that we guarantee the way apprentices and trainees, and all of our students, are looked after, and that all our teachers and staff can continue their good work.”