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Dear Prime Minister,
Every Australian has the right to access high quality vocational education delivered by TAFE. As Australia rebuilds post COVID, it is TAFE that is best placed to help our communities thrive.
We are calling on your government to ensure that the October 22 Federal budget delivers your election commitment of a minimum of 70% of total government VET funding to TAFE.
TAFE has helped millions of people find opportunity, skills, careers and purpose in their lives. TAFE provides support for those seeking employment for the first time, those who missed opportunities at school, and those who seek retraining and further education throughout their lives.
But TAFE has suffered from funding cuts and contestable funding policy settings that have led to an increasingly privatised vocational education system that undermines the quality of vocational education and training.
A 2020 report by the Centre for Future Work at the Australia Institute, revealed that despite years of significant funding pressure and policy failure, the TAFE system plays a huge and fundamentally important role in the Australian economy, contributing an estimated $92.5 billion each year.
With hundreds of campuses all around the country, TAFE continues to provide high quality vocational education, and is perfectly positioned to help Australia rebuild, stimulate the economy and address serious skill shortages. But it urgently needs guaranteed funding to do so.
A properly supported TAFE would have high quality new facilities and state-of-the-art equipment, more TAFE teachers and personnel, more courses and more opportunities for students. That is what is possible if TAFE is recognised in its rightful place as the anchor institution of vocational education for Australia.
AUSTRALIAN EDUCATION UNION