We have had hundreds of responses to our appeal for your stories about why TAFE matters to you. These are some of them.
My group today, Young Mums VCAL, I asked the question "What does TAFE mean to you?"
Danielle: Meeting new people and studying.
Ang: To work towards being a nurse.
Eliza: An opportunity for an education.
Tiff: A second chance and an opportunity to meet people on the same level as me.
Ebony: Going back to school and I am enjoying it this time!
Meaghan: Getting out of the house.
J'aime: Away from sitting on the couch. Food and help with babysitting.
Nicole: A new start to a new future. Second chance education to become something.
Anonymous teacher, Bendigo
We are temporarily able to stay in the Brewery Building at SMB, UoB, but the upstairs floor of this building is a ghost town. Apart from one computer room,it is completely empty.
In the past, SMB has been a busy, bustling place, but it has changed this year and appears to be semi-deserted a lot of the time. Could be something to do with the loss of 43 courses and the large increase in fees.
I teach English Language and it is very hard telling students that the pathway courses that were available in the past do not exist anywhere - not just here, but anywhere - because they were defunded, eg. Certs I and II in Hospitality, Cert I and II in Retail.
This is frequently on top of (and this is a federal issue) their JET being cancelled because it won't fund the same course (even at different certificate levels) for more than two years - which doesn't make any allowance for the reality of the time it can take someone who has either not had any schooling or very disrupted schooling (because of becoming refugees) to gain literacy in English, and this is before they can even contemplate a vocational course.
We have also spent hours rearranging enrolments so the students have a hope of paying the fees - and this is for Foundation Level courses. They can no longer 'pay the fees off' and are expected to either pay up front or on a 30-day invoice.
Deb Sharard, teacher, Ballarat
I won't go into too much detail, but I am currently unable to work in the industry I originally trained for. I have three degrees that are useless due to acquired disability. After six months on Newstart with no real job prospects (always told I am over qualified) I have decided to retrain through TAFE. Hope turned to heartache when I discovered that I would be a full fee paying student with no Commonwealth assistance in the form of FEE-HELP. Not sure how I'm going to pay the $8000 due this year.
Would the government prefer I stay on Newstart or consider a Disability Pension? Surely extending FEE-HELP to Cert 3/4 students would encourage further education and skills development! Perhaps the State Government could step in and fill this gap with a similar scheme - the net cost would not be that high considering that loans are repaid when students are employed.
Cutbacks are also evident on campus where teachers are clearly under increased pressure. They don't complain to the students because they are dedicated professionals, but it is clear to me that many TAFE teachers have reduced time fractions and increased workload that often includes administration tasks normally handled by the Admin Team. TAFE funding cuts are a false economy. It might save a few dollars now, but the workforce and community will be weaker.
Anonymous student, Melbourne
I have had a rough couple of years and put my studying on hold. I just worked up the courage to get my life in order and enrol in another unit via correspondence with the Brisbane North Institute of TAFE. Upon enrolling via the my.tafe website, each unit is no less than $400 each, some are around $900. Before, my whole course was around $1500, now it is $11,000! I am in disbelief and shock.
Anonymous student, Brisbane
I work as an Cert 2 teacher for a large TAFE in a trade skills shortage area. Today I had to tell a 26y/o student if she stays in her Pre-Apprenticeship course she would get a $8000 bill. Even as a teacher I believe no Cert 2 course is worth an $8000 bill. If you are unemployed or on a low income you have no way of ever paying back such a large debt.
This all came about as the student had a higher qualification, a Cert 2 in Catering and Cert 3 in Retail. The higher qualification was RPL by a private RTO. The Cert 3 involved no training. The RPL was done during the student's own time, not during her working hours. She was forced to do the RPL on the Cert 3 in Retail by her large employer at the time.
I hear of these stories in my own classes 3 or 4 times a year. I'm also betting these employers get paid a kickback for this service by the private RTO. The poor unknowing students are forced to do a Cert 2 or 3, get little training, if any, their qualifications are not portable and are rarely valued outside the chain, and the skills are not readily transferable to other jobs. The victim of these RTO cash-grabs give up their right to do ANY other Cert 2 or Cert 3 course in their lifetime.
How do these stupid cost-cutting rules that allow our taxes to be rorted by greed help young people into a well-paid job or address our skills shortages, or empower young people by getting them back into education and changing their lives???
Greg Peters, teacher, Melbourne
I see heaps of complaints regarding TAFEs in Vic on here. What I found over here in Perth is every TAFE has a different price for their course... EVERY TAFE!
I strongly suggest browsing around your TAFEs and checking out their prices, compare them. If that doesn't work, look at TAFEs outside of your state that have online choices for the course you want. I'm aware not all course may be offered online. A person reading this may wish to do fashion and that's not offered online, but someone doing business, or HR, OHS, IT that's offered online.
Also some TAFEs offer different types of concessions. The TAFE I got my Certificate IV in Business through offered 12-month-only resource fee concessions to someone new to a form of Centrelink payment (Newstart or Youth Allowance). That concession made my Cert IV cost $168 and that is ALL-ages! Many states wont discriminate against you based on age (hopefully nothing else too). I do believe there is something in the human rights act about discrimination regarding age. If you are in VIC and know you are getting charged more for your TAFE fees bring that up and be loud as you can be.
Emma N-W, student, Perth
I met my best friends Markeeta and Cloe at TAFE. It was during VCAL at Holmesglen that we met. At first I really hated Markeeta and wanted to punch her in the face. Luckily the great VCAL teachers we had helped us to respect each other. I was there because I'd just finished at a special school and they were there because they didn't have a good time at their high schools. We had a great couple of years together at TAFE.
Then I made some other friends at another TAFE while doing library studies! and my teacher there is now my pen friend and some days we have cups of tea. She and the other teachers for library studies have been cut back some days because of the TAFE cuts. Now there's less time for them to teach and prepare and have cups of tea with their ex-students! I think the TAFE cuts are silly.
Anonymous student, Melbourne
With no concession card, paid nearly 2k to do an aged care course to hopefully secure a job/have some chance at a career. Six months and a pile of money down the drain to be sent home and told am unemployable. They build up your hopes like you have a chance, but that's not the reality, they just want their paychecks and to tick their boxes to get funding from government. They couldn't give a stuff if they actually help you or not. I waited 10 years to have my hopes and dreams crushed by Chisolm Frankston. The only useful thing it did teach me is that there is no point trying to improve myself or make my life better -- no matter how many pieces of paper you get doesn't make someone employable or make people want to hire you. It was just all a big joke.
In 2012 I started a Diploma in Fine Arts at the Hunter St TAFE Newcastle Art School. The course I enrolled in was part time for four years. This year we have been told the course is discontinued. I enrolled on the basis it would be available for me to complete.
The reason I am studying is because I am retraining for a new career as an artist. Now what?
Now I have been told I can change to a Diploma in 'Visual Arts' instead and the course has been cut to two years part time. The cost has gone from about $1300 to $6250 for the year!!! For full-time students it's even worse, the cost jumps from $1300 to $12,500!!! It is more expensive to go to TAFE than to University per year. AND there is no guarantee it will be run if there are not enough students that enrol in 2013.
The reason I enrolled in TAFE and not university is because the TAFE course was a more hands-on, practical course of study, with practising artists as teachers, ideal when studying to be a professional artist, in my humble opinion.
Is it legal to discontinue a course for which I signed up for, not enabling me to finish it?
Anonymous student, Hunter St TAFE, Newscastle
I've had this built up for a long time and wanted to share my story... so here it is.
What I have in life is due to the TAFE system. My fist exposure to it was in high school in the late 1980s, it was the equivalent of VET in schools today and allowed me the opportunity to learn to type and gain some retail skills. TAFE helped me gain my first casual job!
After leaving high school, TAFE again came to my rescue. It was a way for me to study what I had an interest in (Mechanical Engineering). There was no alternative in my town, nor did my family have the financial capability to send me away to go to university. I gained my Associate Diploma and gained some excellent life advice from some superb teachers in the TAFE system, which I still use today (more on this later).
TAFE again! came to my rescue when I decide to do a mature-age apprentice course in Fitting and Turning. Ten years on it was still there as I remembered it. Sure, the standard had fallen, but it was still there for me to advance my skills in my chosen field. The cost was reasonable, there were teachers! and it was still largely not-for-profit. It allowed me to skill my self and be an active member to society and contribute, long-term, in a positive way.
And now TAFE came to my rescue again. Fast forward another 10 years (20 years since high school)! Through the fantastic local people at my new town they allowed me through the RPL process to be qualified as a mechanic, recognizing my life-time work in the field and the cost to me was near zero!
This is the time I decided to pay TAFE back!!! for all of the good things it provided me in my life and I made a decision to give back to the system that gave me so so much. I did a TAA at the local institute (paid $1800!!!!). *I almost had a stroke* at the COST! but I wanted to teach kids, so I swallowed it and now I am working in TAFE (have done last 2.5 years). I have now seen firsthand, being employed in the system (Victoria), just how bad things have gotten. To me it is a source of much pain and heartache. This year alone I have witnessed over 40 people get sacked from our institute.
Further to this, in the process of fullfilling my scholarship (thanks again TAFE TDC Vic), I'm studying an Associate Degree in VET and some of the material I am uncovering in papers makes me physically ill! There is a concerted attack to devalue what I have learned in my life and now exercise as a TAFE teacher. This is being diminished and degraded from within! It's a concerted effort to tear the heart out of the TAFE system in the interest of turning into a quasi-business for profit, an annual accounting exercise, a joke!
My whole life position is thanks to a TAFE system that worked. Now I am faced with the grim reality of a TAFE system that is being destroyed, gutted from within, in the quest for rubbish reforms. All in the interest of trashing what made TAFE great in the first place -- a cheap, but great value asset of the public, open to people like me, and taught by people who want to share their life-long learned ability to help others to achieve better things in life.
Rant maybe? I hope not. I feel very very strongly about what is happening to this institution and the direction it is taking. It is NOT to be treated like a business with profit and loss, as it can't. My repayment to the government for funding TAFE has been that I did not end up as a low-skilled worker on basic pay. I repaid that investment many times over; the skills TAFE gave me were not just measured in profit and loss, but self confidence and purpose in life.
This is my story as a student, repeating student, community member, and now (who knows for how long?) a practicing TAFE teacher. Do not let open market competition with FOR PROFIT private providers be a vehicle to finally get rid of this public-funded asset. It will be hollowed out to a shell of its former formidable self and what is left will be sold off, privatized, and the losers will be people like me (in the modern context). No way I could pay the prices today for all the things I studied in my time, let alone the drop in educational quality.
e-Learning is a stealth attack on TAFEs, but that is another topic! We are getting hammered from all angles. There is no respect left for the teachers or the institution. And that, I'm afraid, will make me leave the profession before I suffer the indignity of being sacked. No-one deserves that level of disrespect. And in TAFE there is little respect left on any level. Sure, you will get the token "You're doing a great job", but how it is really valued is shown in how many people are not given ongoing contracts, strung on and on and on.
Wow, what a great sector to be working in. And I thought it was just about your experience, what the students thought of you, and how successful they become in the future.
Peter Giljevic, Bairnsdale
I'm someone without much in the way of qualifications or industry experience, as I've spent the past decade suffering depression and the impacts that's had on my life.
A year ago I participated in the NEIS programme at RMIT, recieving a Cert IV in Business, and this past year I've felt more capable than ever, however have realised that running a business is too stressful and not for me at this stage.
I also have a Cert IV in IT from years ago, a career that was not suitable for me.
So I decided to go out and get some employable skills, enquiring about pre-apprenticeship courses in Engineering Fabrication.
Turns out that despite having a health care card and no relevant qualifications, because I have Cert IV qualifications already (however useless to my employability), the Cert II in Engineering Fabrication would cost me $3,600!
I can't afford that. Pity. I think I'd be a great welder.
I just finished studying at Kurri Kurri Hunter TAFE. I spent six months doing Cert II Animal studies and then I followed this course with my Cert IV veterinary nursing which went for two years. Over this time I was quiet surprised at how caring, professional and down-to-earth the teachers were and they all soon became great mentors and a support network.
I also did my high school cert at OTEN, which is a distance branch of TAFE. At OTEN they were all amazing, supportive people. I'm one of many that where bullied at high school, then suffering from mental health issues I ended up not being able to finish school and for years after leaving high school I was a very lost person.
TAFE have given me confidence in myself, supported me and given me the skills and education to go get a job in an industry that I love.
If teacher cuts, course cuts and price rises happen, this service will be out of reach for young people. We need services such as TAFE supporting and educating young people within the community, because if we don't they will be lost, uneducated and jobless.
Thanks to Kurri Kurri Hunter TAFE for all your support and time over the last two and a half years!!
Jordan Supple, student, Newcastle
I was originally going to start an Advanced Diploma of Hospitality/Diploma of Events at Swinburne's Prahran campus, only to find out less than a week before my due start date the course had been cut. They told me to apply to William Angliss so I went to the open day and was just lucky to get in.
I am now a student at William Angliss and I'm really enjoying my course, I don't want to go through all that again.
Jessica, student, Melbourne
Cutbacks for TAFE will harm all Australians - we already have a skills shortage and this will not help.
Baillieu may have been born with a silver spoon, but this country needs gold-plated skills to compete in the global economy and TAFE is a crucial part of that.
Show Baillieu and his smug elite that the people of Melbourne won't stand for his idiocy.
Just because he was too posh to need a TAFE, it doesn't give him the right to take them from everyone else and future generations.
DON'T LET THE TOFFS TAKE OUR TAFE!
Anonymous student, RMIT
I am in shock at the Baillieu Govt targeting TAFE, such a backward step in the growth of not just our state but the whole of Australia. As a mature-age student studying to improve my prospects for my own future and as a mother of two sons who will be disadvantaged with these proposed cuts and closures, I am nothing short of dismayed at this act of discrimination against so many. Training standards will drop, people will be taken advantage of by "fly-by-nighters"offering sub-standard courses, thousands will be unable to afford training at all. "One size does not fit all!" Ted leave TAFE alone!!!!
Joy Planksken, student, Holmesglen TAFE
I am studying ceramic design at Gymea TAFE whilst also working part time and raising two preschool-aged children. The State Government doesn't believe fine arts are vocationally relevant but they are wrong. I aim to become an exhibiting artist, and although I may never be successful enough to earn a full wage from my art, I consider that it will be my career. I cannot afford to go to uni to study fine arts and I believe that unis lack the practical teaching that TAFE ceramics provide. Arts provide something to society that cannot just be measured in dollars or job advertisements etc. A better policy to encourage people to go into TAFE courses for which there are high future job prospects would be to add incentives, such as scholarships and added funding, to those courses. Never cut the important arts courses we have.
Anonymous student, Bangor
My daughter has a mental health illness. She really started to struggle at school in Year 9 (from being an A-grade student). she left home (not my idea) in year 10. She didn't finish Year 10, tried part of Year 11 and didn't finish this. She is now 19 and continues to work hard to put her life together. We are in contact but she prefers to live independently. She's a very intelligent person who is dealing with her mental health issues as best she can. However in terms of qualifications she has no 'pieces of paper' at all. So many jobs these days need at least a certificate qualification and she is also held back from further education due to not completing year 10. Recently, my daughter started a certificate course at Swinburne Prahran. She has been working very hard and is actually ahead, in spite of another stay in a psychiatric unit. She has plans and wants a future, and with a little support, will be able to do this. She was telling me about the great support she has had from Swinburne, from the teachers, and also from the other services such as a disability liaison officer. So for her, it has not just been about the teachers, it has been about the extras that TAFE offers to disadvantaged students. This is in contrast to her efforts in the private educational sector eg. promised hospitality courses that don't eventuate or don't continue. Obviously, she depends totally on walking or public transport, so distance is a real issue for her. Apart from care for a citizen of our country and state, the government has a choice - education can mean the difference between an individual becoming a productive, economically valuable member of the community, or becoming an ongoing expense. From acorns, big things can grow. I know where my vote will be going at the next election.
Ellie, parent, Rowville
Our son, who has challenging disabilities, has been attending TAFE in Moe. This course was so important to him that he travelled from Orbost for the first year of the course. His day started at 4.30am, leaving by 5.15am, we drove him 100kms to Bainsdale station where he caught the train then a bus to TAFE travelling another 148 kms and arriving back home around 6.15pm. Our commitment as parents was huge, as we both needed to be in Orbost working for the day, before returning to Bairnsdale to pick him up. We drove 400k's each time he went to TAFE. This seems insane, but this was the closest Diploma course to us in his chosen area of employment and at a crucial time in his life when he was hugely at risk.
He now travels from Swan Reach, which is still a mammoth effort, requiring two buses and a train travelling 169kms and a day that starts at 5am until he arrives home at 6pm. We felt totally horrified and bemused when we learnt about the crippling, devastating cuts to the TAFE system. Our son has required an aide, and without that support the course was beyond his abilities. His personal commitment at an enormously difficult time of his life has been massive.
THIS TERM HE HAS HAD NO AIDE. His aide was sacked!
His coarse will be terminated at the end of this term - one term early! This is his final year, so the pressure is now on to try to complete the required work a term early so that he can achieve his Diploma.
Thanks to the help of the Disability Support Officer at Moe he has a possibility of succeeding. Others are not so fortunate.
Sue Forward, parent, Bruthren
My name is Casey Glennie and I am a student of Dandenong Chisholm. I began studying the Diploma of Community Services at the beginning of 2012. It is hard for me, but I wanted to tell my story with the hopes that it could help people understand what Tafe is, and what it gives to people simply by being there.
I grew up in a normal family and in a normal school for most of my life. However, in year 9 I had to leave my first high school due to an inappropriate teacher. I moved to a very small Christian school for what was supposed to be the remainder of my schooling years. Within a few months of moving schools I went through a depression and mental breakdown. I was bullied because of this. By the middle of year 11 I was suffering severe panic attacks and trying to juggle school and therapy. Eventually I fell during a panic attack and had to miss a lot of school after this. My parents allowed me to drop out of high school.
After school I worked as a cashier in a supermarket. My mental illness steadily became worse and worse. It was an incredible strain on my family and so I had to move out of home at 16. My parents could no longer look after me, and my younger siblings were not getting the attention they needed because of me. Eventually I lost my job due to multiple admissions to adult psychiatric units and also my accommodation.
Whilst homeless I fell into using drugs heavily and sleeping on acquaintances' couches. I had failed school, work, and functioning within a family. I had no real friends. At one point I was staying in a man's home whom I had met in a psychiatric unit. Shortly after I had begun to live with him, he went severely psychotic and was admitted into a criminally insane hospital for becoming violent. I had to leave his house. It was then that I contacted the Salvation Army and was taken to a homeless shelter.
In this homeless shelter I was encouraged and I found a sense of stability. I stayed there for 9 weeks before I was offered a 2 year place at a youth mental health refuge.
In this refuge I was able to make friends. I had a support worker and group activities to attend. I had routine. After my first year here, I made the choice to stop taking drugs. I detoxed, relapsed, tried again and succeeded. It was the refuge that helped me see the power I held within myself to make my life better. It has now been 18 months since I have used drugs and I haven't ever felt happier. I smile now, and I make eye contact. I feel healthy.
Now I still live in the refuge, though I have moved into an outreach home. I am a stable and healthy person. I began to attend Chisholm at the beginning of the year with this newfound confidence.
In order for me to study, my parents paid my fees for the first year. I began full time, but with the support of my teachers I have dropped to part time to ensure I complete the course at the pace I require. Here at Chisholm I have friends, and for the first time in years I feel normal. It is my greatest goal to finish my Diploma and to become a support worker to help improve the public health system for other young people who may find themselves caught up in it.
With the budget cuts, as I am a part time student I fear that I won't be able to afford next year, or the year after. I can't study full time, although if I could maybe I could save myself from having to worry for 3 years over how much my fees will increase.
I could never have gone to university, and the fact that Tafe existed always gave me hope that maybe I could have a career. I may have taken this for granted, but now that Tafes' future is in jeopardy I really have taken very seriously the idea that disadvantaged students may no longer have any institution to flock to.
What will be the outcome? Less education opportunities for those who need it most. A forced convention that Australians must fit into society as high school graduate, middle/upper class citizens?
Education sadly should be accessible to everyone. These budget cuts only reinforce that it is not.
Casey, student, Dandenong TAFE
Joe is a young student who struggled with personal trauma during secondary school. His father hasn't been a part of his life and he watched as his mum pass away during year 11. Without any immediate family around and living independently he finished Year 12. A huge accomplishment but not a good enough ATAR score to do a business degree at university.
After floundering for awhile working in bottle shops and pubs Joe enrolled in a Certificate of Business course at Advance TAFE. He was supported by his very important friendship support network and did not have to relocate to study. He is now completing his Degree in Business Studies through University of Ballarat at Advance TAFE in Sale surrounded by friends.
Joe was able to do this against all odds. The entry level Certificate of Business won't be running in 2013 and other higher level new course fees are beyond his financial means.
In short if Baillieu/Hall TAFE 'restructure' was introduced in 2011 Joe would still be working casually in bottle shops and fast food restaurants without a career path, an education cut short and a young man not able to reach his true potential.
Leeanne Flaherty, Sale
My daughter, who has come thru a myriad of devastating events was prospering at Gippstafe until Aug 6 2012; on which day she was AXED from her beloved class WITHOUT NOTICE. Happily, she was accepted into a course which would complete her studies at a campus just a mere 35kms distance. However, despite the fact that she enrolled in Feb. this year, se must re- enrol all over again and cannot provide her birth certificate again...TAFE has 4 copies of this flimsy bit of paper but insists she must provide it AGAIN. Despite the profound despair her expungment has brought her, she hangs onto the slim hope that we will indeed find the means to provide the proof of her existence to the bastards who insist she suddenly is a "non-person". FIGHT THEM! The "powers that be" are seeking to DESTROY education at TAFE. Point me in direction of the desk-jockey responsible for crushing my daughter's life and I'll .... NOT PUBLISHABLE. Our state gov. is endeavouring to privatise education. God bless all revolting peasants! I am revolting and proud.
Catherine Nugent, parent, Churchill
I just briefly want to congratulate and say that TAFE is so under represented in the media and community. I am pleased that my NorthCoast TAFE helps people with disability and disfunction, for I suffer severe Schizophrenia, and NCI TAFE have bent over backwards to help me in my times of education crisis. I find TAFE learning to be easier than UNI, and I shudder to think where I would be if TAFE didn't exist.
Anonymous student, NSW
Why TAFE is so important to me? Back in the late 80's I had a very poor high school education went to 2 schools that didn't really care through a work experience program I accidently discovered the world of child care after work experience finished I continued to do volutary work at the occassional care children's service, from staff I was working with I was encourged to go on to further study to become what was than known as a mothercraft nurse I applied for aa few course & was accepted into a tafe. It was 1990 I was very nervous 19year old with low self esteem & worried alot if I could pass & get a qualification I found the TAFE teachers to be very support & encourging suddenly with lots of support & encourgaement I came to the realization that I can study! & get good marks my self esteem rose I felt more confident about my self I would go out on placement & shine! come to classes & keep risng up & shinning more, I started to grow & become a confident student. I got my qualification & went & worked with special needs children in a centre, I then went & ran a room at a child care centre, a few years had passed & they introduced an upgrade from mothercraft nurse to diploma in children's services this time I went back to the same TAFE with confidence & really enjoying having some of my same teachers again & extending my learning & skills further I then got inspired to do the advanced diploma as by this stage I had become a 2nd in charge assisstant director at a service, I then went on to mentor diploma trained staff who had done their training at a private RTO but could not run a room due to poor education & training.Now 26 years later I am now teaching at TAFE & inspiring young students just like my teachers inpired me I love my job as everyday I see how we change lives if Tafe goes I'm not sure how I can keep growing in my career & I worry what will happen to the child care industry if Tafe goes. Tafe taught me that if you really want to acheive something you can so I ask everyone if you really want to save TAFE we can! together we can make a voice be heard & Save TAFE don't let Baillieu wreck lives!
Anonymous teacher, Heidelberg
Today I nearly started crying in my classroom, the heartache I felt/feel right now is unbearable. I found out today that the Advanced Diploma of Justice will most likely be cut from Chisholm Tafe.
My Name is Katy I am a Year 12 VCE Student at Chisholm Dandenong, I have been at Chisholm since I was 15 years old. I came to Chisholm after being severely bullied/ignored by teachers at my local high school. I was a good student who did have a willingness to learn but I didn't think there was any hope left for me, I didn't think teachers cared.
I then found CGEA at my local TAFE, (Certificate of General Education for Adults is a Year 9/10 equivalent) I became amazed and Chisholm became my second home/family.
The teachers there worked with my dysfunctional life not against it, they taught me to believe in myself and worked with me one on one to make me interested and engaged in school. I ended up completing that course in a record time of 3 months, not because I rushed through the work, because I actually was so interested and determined that I came home and did my homework, I completed my tasks, I actually enjoyed it.
I also met all my best friends that year, people who were like-minded, who had been in similar situations than me, who understood me, these people are still my best friends today.
The Welfare Counsellor their knew my name off by heart, she knew what I wanted to be, she helped me fill out my subjects and application for Year 11 VCE at Chisholm, I was so excited.
I started my Year 11 and fell in love with literature and legal studies, I became one of the top students in the Year 11, only because I was encouraged I was told that I could achieve anything, I could do it, teachers would email me work when I was away, always keep in communication, give me after school tutoring if I was stuck. The teachers engaged all the students in class discussions, not just the ones they "had time for" I mean everyone, to the point that all of us became such good friends, I had friends in all walks of life.
What I am trying to say is without TAFE I don't know where I'd be, I don't know what I'd do, I don't think I would have accessed my full potential like I have now.
I am now currently in Year 12 VCE at Chisholm, I am excelling in all my subjects, I am striving to be the best I can be.
Myself and other VCE students created a petition for VCE Jumpers because we felt that just because we are a TAFE we are still doing the SAME VCE as everyone else and we deserved to be recognised, to represent our Chisholm Family.
I decided I wanted to do an Advanced Diploma of Justice at Chisholm after my VCE but have now discovered that it might be cut, that would have equalled 5 years of TAFE education.
I am just so angry and upset that the Liberal Government don't understand the great and beautiful achievements that students like me can achieve. TAFE shows that whatever family life you come from, no matter how bad those bullies treated you, no matter how ignored you were by teachers.
YOU CAN ACHIEVE, YOU ARE WORTH IT.
But thats whats great about my TAFE family, even though the Diploma might be cut, we will still be a family, we will still get through it and my teachers are supporting me in every way to find suitable tertiary education.
YOU MIGHT BE ABLE TO HURT TAFE, BUT YOU CANT HURT A TAFE FAMILY.
Katy, student, Chisholm TAFE, Dandenong
In years past I was a mature-age TAFE student. Even then each year the cost for subjects was dramatically increasing, to the point where I could not afford them. This was because government funding for TAFE was being steadily reduced due to the increasing influence of laissez-faire economic "free market solutions" doctrine within both major political parties. This doctrine also brought us the GFC. Laissez-faire promotes free market providers displacing government as the agents for all public services. This has resulted in the plethora of dodgy "providers" in for the quick profit at the paying student's expense. The 7.30 report's findings are hardly surprising. Laissez-faire also promotes unfettered exploitation of a market segment. Hence the dodgy providers. But the problem runs much deeper than the current TAFE crisis. Laissez-faire doctrine is deeply embedded in the Senior echelons of the beauocracy and dominant factions of political parties. It is what is driving the privatisation agenda and the removal of government funding for education and other public services. The problem is the privatisation is driven by profit not the public interest. The development of a highly skilled and productive workforce for a country like Australia needs governement investment and standards in strategic services like education. Northen European countries has demonstrated this quite well. If we consider the critical role of education in quality of life and its pivotal role in securing our national interests then the current trend of handing essential services over to "the market" is nothing short of gross stupidity. The rorts and closures are the external symptoms of the Laissez-faire disease. What is required is Australia to benchmark itself against comparable countries in the education stakes. The EU would be a good start point. Only then can the insanity of laissez-faire driven education policy (and just about every other essential service it has blighted) be fully exposed. Something for 4 corners perhaps?
Cert 1 in Vocational Preparation is a course approved for some RTOs. They provide training for 10 hours, teaching the following:
1. How to write a resume
2. How to prepare for the interview
3. Creating a profile using social media such as linkedin
Teacher, who is a contractor, getting $500 per student for this 10 hours training. This too provided online (no classroom resources required).
It means: $50 per contact hour (without the commission of RTO).
How this can be possible while IT courses with the best lab equipments (each lab worth of $300,000) gets $10-$12 per contact hour? Obviously. This is not a 10 hours training but at least for 100 hours.
What do you call this? Stealing money out of the taxpayer's wallet.
Anonymous teacher, Box Hill
At Lilydale campus we provide an essential education and training service to the entire bushfire region. Lilydale is the transport hub. By closing this campus and many courses across Swinburne hundreds of young people will be forced to travel a great deal further. Many have said that they will not. Many are part way through their education and training. I thought that by signing them up Swinburne was entering a contract with these people. I am bitterly disappointed for them.
Anonymous teacher, Swinburne Lilydale TAFE
I write to protest the recent decisions around funding cuts to Tafe that have seen some courses discontinued and others drastically cut. I am attending Hunter Street Tafe in Newcastle completing a 12 month Certificate IV course in Screen Media, as a full time student. The courses I am enrolled in are mostly practical and very hands on, and this is the reason I enrolled in them. Some of this coursework would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to complete without such hands on experience.
This semester, with no warning, a couple of those classes were reduced from three hours to two. One such adversely affected area of study is Filmmaking. These courses involve using cameras, lighting, sound, actors, eta, requiring time to set up, shoot, pack away equipment and download data.
It also happens to require, in our case, clearing a classroom of desks, chairs, heavy and expensive photographic equipment, among other things, and moving it outside to free up room to create sets and shoot in, and then moving it all back in at the end of class. Our classroom doubles as our studio. This is anyway undesirable as it wastes our time and energy but it also takes from the time we could be spending learning.
Time we now have even less of. In a two hour class we are lucky to now have a window of creative time of ten to twenty minutes. This is really an untenable situation for students and teachers alike. If what we are trying to shoot cannot be captured in that time, we are forced to recreate everything just the way it was the following week, and again aim for a maximum of say twenty minutes to complete the shoot.
It was already a challenge and a strain on creativity and learning to do all this in a three hour (once per week) time frame. Reducing our class time to a two hour timeframe means that both the set–up and the learning around that and the shoot itself becomes so compromised that the whole exercise becomes virtually worthless on all fronts. More it becomes worse than worthless given such time constraints leave no room for creativity, and encourage a lack of integrity of work and a lack of due diligence and care. Expensive gear may be damaged through rushed set-ups and rushed dismantling. Equipment is in part also being misused due to a lack of timely on set training in proper technique and operation because of this same imperative to rush.
This is not just annoying and de-motivating, it is simply unacceptable. It is unfair to students and teachers alike. It is my belief that the reduced timeframe of two hours for some of these practical classes, especially in a space unfortunately designated as both classroom and studio, makes these classes virtually un-do-able on any worthwhile level.
Students who have enrolled into a course of study should be able to rely upon being provided the means to complete the course to a reasonably high standard using the skills they have been able to practice in school. In some cases, this is looking unlikely. Many students are feeling sidelined.
These cuts were implemented after the start of this (second) semester without warning and without discussion or negotiation with students. I believe our learning experience in this course of study has been hijacked by the application of these reduced hours, especially as this reduction has been applied half way through the school year effectively pulling the rug from under us and leaving many of us nowhere else to go.
Anonymous student, Newscastle
My son is in Year 12 at Narre Warren South P-12 College this year and thanks to the VCAL program that is run through our school and the other local schools and tafe colleges in the local area has managed to keep my son in school and gain an education.
My son had struggled so much due to bullies and withdrawing himself to within he didn't have the courage to ask for help to understand his school work. He was behind and we saw no clear light at the end of the tunnel.
My son was given a choice just like our 2 older children had and that was you either continue at school or you get an apprenticeship because you wont be a dole blugger has been our motto for our family.
My son has nearly completed year 12. He has worked hard and shown great strengths in moving forward with his school work. He has a fantastic support team at his school Narre Warren P-12 College which are Kelly Lackman who dedicates days at work to come into the school to help these kids and not even be paid for it, Sharni, Belinda, Sue and Rob Duncan who helps oversees the later years. Please forgive me if I have missed anyone but these teachers have helped so many kids achieve things that they would never have done including my son.
These kids are going to be able to move forward with their lives and have a good chance to make good in their lives.
The younger kids coming into year 11 and 12 need this type of VCAL program to help them. All students have the right to choose their education requirements. We all know that VCE is more structured for white collar workers and the VCAL is for all the hands on skilled work that this country so desperately needs.
Our kids of today and our kids of tomorrow need the VCAL program to help them make choices and to help their perform to the best of their ability.
Please dont take this VCAL program from our children. They are this countries future and if they cannot see any clear direction for their lives then what future does our country have.
Marianne Macumber, parent
My mum is a single parent, no income. We can barely afford the fees for this year. If this goes ahead I don't know what will happen. I may not be able to finish my qualification. I NEED this. I can't believe funds are being given to prisoners to study and we're getting fund cuts.
Anonymous student, Frankston
As a parent of two special needs students, I have seen them progress because of the courses which were specifically designed to enable high functioning students such as they are to transition to the workforce. Take away that opportunity and you are increasing a dependency on the welfare system.
Many parents of my generation have been forced to seek further education in order to upskill to the employment market demands. If the education is not available and at an affordable rate, how do I continue to support my family?
TAFE courses are designed co-operatively with industry, therefore keeping up with the ever changing technology demands. Education in Australia must remain affordable and inclusive. Discrimmination on any level is not allowed in employment, nor should it be in education.
Len Sherrott, Hoppers Crossing
Janice (not her real name) never liked school. She was teased by the other kids about having a disability. She "wagged school a lot", so that as an adult, she could not read or write well enough for simple everyday purposes and she was always unsure about handling money.
As a grown woman with two young boys, Janice decided that she "had to do something about my education". She enrolled in a General Education class at GippsTAFE. She wanted to be able to help her boys with their schoolwork and to be "more confident with stuff". Starting back after so many years was not easy for her. "I was nervous and upset that it'd be like school again."
What got Janice through the first stages of her return to study was the presence of a Disability Support Worker in her class. Even in a multi-level class such as the one she attended, Janice was always able to get 1:1 help as she needed it. This meant that each class built her knowledge and confidence.
Since that beginning, Janice has achieved a lot. She now does her shopping and bill-paying with independence and confidence that she won't be easily "ripped off". She helps the boys with their homework, writes notes to her boys' teachers and keeps up with newsletters and correspondence. Perhaps more importantly, she can express in writing what her boys mean to her life. She has gained a wider circle of friends through her TAFE classes. Janice has become an independent learner.
The presence of a Disability Support Worker in Janice's class was possible because GippsTAFE was a Full Service TAFE provider. The State Government funding cuts to TAFE now mean that the program has been dramatically reduced for the remainder of this year. In 2013 the program will not be funded.
Behind the weasel words and glib evasions of our Victorian National and Liberal politicians, is a clear message to regional TAFEs - We expect you to keep up "full service provisions" to your local communities but we intend to stop paying you for this!, i.e. "Raising the money is your problem – go run a cake stall or something!"
One of effects from the cutting of "Full Service" funding to regional TAFEs will be that The quality of the FE (Further Education) in TAFE will decline. Janice's experience may not be repeated.
Neil Hauxwell, teacher, GippsTAFE
It looks as though VET in schools will have to increase next year, which could lead to the loss of one teacher in the fitting side of our engineering department. Apparently the students have "to shop around" according to a spokesperson from Peter Hall's office. Unfortunately that means, here in Gippsland, having to go back to AGA who deliver, at best, second-rate training.
It was only 4 years ago when the schools in our area decided to send their students to us as the kids just love "coming to TAFE". My Friday group love being able to use computers in the library at lunchtime, getting a serve of chips and gravy and of course talking to the girls from Hair and Beauty. Why doesn't Peter Hall take a survey from the secondary colleges and see where they'd like to study VET in Schools?
Alan Long, teacher, GippsTAFE
I am so fortunate that I was able to access TAFE education when it was accessible to all. As a below average High School Student, I was repeatedly told by my teachers that at best I was looking at a low level menial job. As a result, I had a child not long after my 18th Birthday. This made me re evaluate my future prospects for myself and my child.
With the support of my family, I was encouraged to enroll at TAFE. It was such a different environment and the positive reinforcements gave me some faith that I actually was much more capable than I ever thought possible.
TAFE was my savior and I am very fortunate to have been able to access it. Since TAFE, I have completed two degrees and I am working in a position that I never would have been able to work, had I not been able to access TAFE.
I also have the experience of a partner who is currently working in the TAFE system. These cuts have had a massive impact on our family. My partner's job is now unstable and even if he does retain it, the cuts in Senior Educators means that teachers are not only teaching, they are also coordinating and fulfilling other administrative duties. It is hard enough being able to deliver a quality service to students without lack of support. Our Teachers and Students deserve better than this.
After a painful separation, I became a single parent last year. Finances have become very difficult as I also care for my twin daughters who I am trying to assist through university. I only work part time and have a mortgage. I would love to retrain in other areas to expand my employability.I have been able to get some casual work elsewhere and my kind boss offered to pay for some training in MYOB so I could tackle her accounts, a new area for me. I then became inspired to do a certificate 4 in bookkeeping so I could start my own business and became very excited by the prospect. The dream of financial security for my family loomed. Then I found out that as I have already completed a certificate 4 qualification (9 years ago) I could not get a subsidised place. It would cost me, the completely unobtainable amount of $6,500.00 to complete. This of course is completely out of the question and in a heartbeat my dream was over.I felt lost and shattered. When is the Government going to think about people like me who want to learn and work hard and support myself and be an example to my children?
Liesl Trenfield, Epping
As a Careers Adviser at an "Inner-Regional" School I am outraged that carefully planned Student Pathways to Post- Secondary Education and Training (developed via a well taught Careers Ed program beginning at Year 9)have been smashed to pieces. Where will exit students go in 2013, and how much will they be forced to pay? Our VETIS options are being priced out of existence! Local National Party MP's just don't seem to get that Regional and Rural businesses and tourism enterprises need well trained graduates from the TAFE Business and Hospitality courses that have been destroyed by shonky cut price operators. Even scarier (if that is possible) was Minister Halls response in Parliament on May 22nd, to a question relating to the closure and imminent sale of the VU Sunbury campus (cost to taxpayers $40m !) was that it would be replaced with a "co-located" facility at a Secondary School comprising a "Community Learning Hub", Trade Training Centre and "Service Delivery Centre" for the on-line provision of Degrees and Diplomas. A model for isolated rural communities will now become the norm for Rural, Regional AND Outer - Metropolitan Melbourne. Access to an actual campus will now be restricted to those with the geographic and financial resources to move to the city. This is frightening. Success in most Uni and TAFE undergraduate courses actually require human contact, group work, workshops, laboratories, libraries etc. Welcome to the brave new world!
Chris Bromley, teacher, Kyneton
An artical I wrote for my blog I belive is very relevent to our cause. Please click on the link: http://lathemillmechanical.blogspot.com.au/2012/06/state-of-engineering-in-victoria.html?spref=fb
Mark Wilson, teacher, Box Hill Institute
I work for 9 state secondary school in the eastern suburbs on Melbourne (atEAST) and have done so for 15 years. I co-ordinate their School Based Apprenticeship Traineeship (SBAT) program. In that time I have worked with almost 2000 young people with over 90% achieving a very successful outcome from the program. I have seen students who have been quite disengaged at school achieve amazing outcomes, most with the employer they had during the program. Why would the government jeopardise the successful outcomes of so many young people just to save a few dollars in the cost of their training? Why can't SBATs be quantined from these cuts to funding for their training - after all they are on very low part time incomes? If prisoners can be exempt from the cuts why can't SBATs? The government would state that the school can pay out of the SRP funding - current fees for courses such as Certificate Business are around $300.00 from 1/7/12 that will increase to over $2000.00 - how can schools possible find this amount of money from the SRP? There are so many better ways to reduce the budget for training without impacting of SBATs.
Jenny McComb, teacher, atEAST
I am a VCAL teacher at Heathmont College. As a teacher of VCAL I have the privilege of teaching students who are studying under a SBAT arrangement. Working alongside AtEAST, I have seen students enter the program and successfully complete a VCAL certificate with work experience and qualifications from TAFE that have seen them get ahead in their chosen careers.
Currently I have a number of students in Year 11 VCAL studying hospitality, business administration and retail. They are disappointed that they will not be able to continue their TAFE studies in 2013 because they are unable to pay the full fees. Nearly all come from homes that are single parented and far from wealthy. Often, just meeting the weekly bills is a struggle for these families.
As an educator of students who have in the past struggled, how am I now to tell them they are not going to be able to pursue the career they have chosen. What will become of these students?
Jo Trigg, teacher, Healthmont College, Croydon
The students in my school who study school-based apprenticeships and traineeships won't be able to afford them under the new proposal. The students from my school who accessed tertiary studies at TAFE also won't be able to afford it now. I work with kids from disadvantaged social and economic backgrounds who need hope for their future and the government decision steals that from them.
Anonymous teacher, Croydon
I was a TAFE teacher. (Previous to that I was a Coordinator.) As a result I am unemployed (again).
The last 2 1/2 years have been tough in the education industry and my circumstances.
I have been made redundant 3 times during that time, now there is no work for me AGAIN!!!!!
I am not eligible for Centrelink. I am now 55. I may need to sell the home or consider retiring early.
During the last 2 1/2 years I have also been a student as well.
Anonymous teacher, Northern suburbs
I have been here four years in August as a receptionist for BCSI Department. I never thought that I would get a job here as thought it was too above me!! I don't know why I doubted myself as this is the place to be as I have great satisfaction in assisting the students with enquiries etc. Most of all I enjoy & look forward to coming to work every day as the staff are so freindly. My boss is wonderful and always has her door open. It seems to be that the changes to TAFE funding could see this supportive enviroment destroyed.
The end of Visual Arts education in Tafe Victoria. In the wake of the recent Liberal Government funding cuts, Advance Tafe Bairnsdale sacks 32 staff in the 1st million dollar cut and another $4 million yet is to be cut from the operating budget. That must be something like another 120 jobs and countless courses to go from this region in the very near future.
There is no more funding in Victorian Tafes for libraries, student services, disability support, facilities or Outreach Centres. Course funding has been slashed across a wide range of subject areas and every teaching team is in a process of complete restructure.
The long-standing Visual Art and Design Department and purpose built facilities at Advance Tafe Bairnsdale, will be closing at the end of the year and Visual Arts courses will no longer be offered in this region.
The Art and Design Department has had a long and vibrant 25 year history in this region. Art and Design was here from the very beginning with the East Gippsland Community College of Tafe and later as the East Gippsland Institute of Tafe and finally as Advance Tafe. For 25 years the Art and Design Department has delivered quality nationally accredited Visual Arts education and training across the entire Gippsland and East Gippsland region.
Until last week, when the impact of the cuts started to be released, Visual Art and Design education and training in this region had a strong and exciting future. ...
Anonymous teacher, Bairnsdale
We moved to Bairnsdale two years ago and while I went about re-establishing my I.T. business in a new office, my wife secured a job at East Gippsland TAFE (now Advance TAFE). Working in administration, with some study and recognition of prior learning she managed to gain teacher status and has been taking Business & I.T. classes. This is not an affluent area. Many people struggle to gain employment and temporary and part time work is the norm. Having gained a 12 month contract to be reviewed each year, my wife has at least some job security and so with our modest combined income, we can pay our small mortgage and renovate our 1950s house.
And then this... for weeks there has been uncertainty at Advance TAFE as to "who will go?" We found out last week and for the moment my wife still has a job, however, more are going in September and at the end of the year it's end of contract time.
The downright pig arrogance of Baillieu and his ilk enrages me. Economic rationalism at all costs. They fail to see the flow-on effect of tenuous employment... no work, struggle to pay mortgage and bills and certainly no spare money to spend. How does that hope the local economy?
Recently on a Saturday morning we met an ex-student of my wife's, who rushed up, hugged her and blurted out how grateful she was for her training that had led to her new job. This was a long term unemployed person who would not have had the luxury of training without the public TAFE system.
Of course, the more cynical of us would argue that the intention of these cuts is precisely to keep regional people disadvantaged and in their place. After all, those casual and part time jobs bump up the stats don't they?
Baillieu, you idiot.
I am 29-year-old male, I have just completed my Cert III apprentiship. I wish to do two of my Cert IV courses this year so I can be fully skilled and fill in a spot for Australia skilled worker shortages in the Mining industry.
Without the goverment funding I can't afford to further extending my skills, less job opportunity, with no job I'll be forced into living on Centrelink payments.
At the moment our workplace has cut down on working hours, if it continues going quiet many of our under-skilled workers will be forced out of work. Similar to what other manufacturing are doing with the worker sin Victoria.
If I do become unemployed, I don't have any tax to pay, am getting minimum allowance from Centrelink and the cost to goverment will be more. No income for me, no tax income for the goverment and no one wins.
Min Chen, student, Melbourne
I'm 20 years old with a fiance, daughter and dreams.
For as long as I can remember, I've wanted to become a Veterinary Nurse. When I fell pregnant, I had to defer from schooling. This year I came back and began a six month course in Certificate II Animal Studies, and I was then going to start a Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing. 3 weeks before we finished our Certificate II, we find out that all the animal industry courses have been cut. And now there is no where in my area that do Veterinary Nursing courses. This budget cut has practically destroyed my dreams.
Getting work in this industry is so hard, and now it is near impossible and I am uncertain of my future in this industry. My whole life I have wanted to do this, and now it has been taken away. I am devastated.
But I for one am not going to sit back and let this happen!
Anonymous student, Werribee
Two of my students studying Advanced Diploma of Tourism (in second year) have just told me they are currently completing a Cert III in Hospitality one night a week with a company called Create. The course goes for 6 weeks and is run from the Cross Keys Hotel in Essendon. These students are being paid $300 by the company to attend. These students are second-year students so already have a Cert III in Tourism. Who do we report these dodgy practices to? And who is monitoring eligibility for funding? Will these students end up with a big bill later?
Anonymous teacher, Preston
I am a 32 mother of 4 children ages between 6-14, I left high school in year 8 with no education. When my youngest 2 twins started prep I thought I should be a good role model by gaining a education. I have now completed my 1st year of my Diploma in Community Services work. I have payed $5000 so far, and I am a single parent. So I will have a $7000 debt oweing when I finish Tafe. That to me seems so unfair for Australia, what happened to education should be free? I think the current system is terrible and needs to be addressed by all governments! And my school Chisholm will lose $30 million next year alone.
Tabatha, student, Pakenham
When I left high school the transition to university was too great and I left my dream of being an art teacher. Some time later I found a new career path with the TAFE sector studying early childhood. As both my grandmother and mother left school at 15 I saw that further education was a way to secure my future. Having received this foundation training prepared me for meaningful employment and gave me the confidence to pursue higher education. I am now a TAFE teacher and have a Degree in Early Childhood and am currently enrolled in Masters. I can not imagine where I would be today without the opportunities provided through the TAFE sector. For others who like me did not have the support systems to enter University that will be denied the opportunity to reach their full potential is a state disgrace. In the Early Childhood Sector we face a National skills shortage. Other potential early childhood leaders may not gain entry to university and without TAFE training may not lead as meaningful, and productive lives.
Simone Callaghan Dawson Lucas, teacher, Lilydale
You will notice the 'Dr' in front of my name and it was well earned. In May 1998 I was retrenched from my twenty-six year job as a tram conductor. I would have been quite happy to see my working life out in that role but was denied that opportunity.
The following February I enrolled in the Diploma of Liberal Arts at Victoria Unversity's Footscray campus. My original intention was to study for a year and obtsin the research and writing skills to write the history of the 1990 conductors' dispute.
However, the teachers encouraged me to continue the course past the first year which I then did. Those two years were vital in developing my skills. The same classes, the twenty hours of class time meant that support was always on hand. Draft essays were accepted and sent back for correction. There was frequent sessions with support teachers to discuss your progress and how it could be improved.
After the Diploma I moved into a BA, then an honours year and finally gained a schoolarship to do a PhD, which I sucessfully finished last year. Without that support in the first two years I would not have finished the journey. By the time I arrived at university I was well equiped to handle the work. Many other students are not and they struggle to handle the demands of a university education. The university lecturers are overburdened with work and cannot with the best will in the world devote a great deal of time to individual students.
I was not the first to make the journey from the Diploma to a PhD. There were others before me. Many others achieved a basic degree at university. But I suspect that if these cuts go ahead I will be one of the last to make the journey. That fills me with a great deal of anger. Hundreds of working people will be denied the same opportunity. We must do all in our power to stop these cuts.
Dr Douglas Jordan, Kensington
After leaving the city to move to Horsham, I enrolled at the Horsham campus of Ballarat University to complete a diploma in art. I must admit that I wasn't keen to move to the country. The TAFE course allowed me to fulfil my artistic desires and help me find my place within the community. It is so much more than just an educational institution! As a full time mother I had hoped to use this course to re-enter the workforce in the coming years. This has now been taken away from me as I am unable to complete my studies.
In the city there are a myriad of options. This is not true of country settings! As a result of the budget cuts I am no longer able to finish my course of study. I am left high and dry and my social network has been demolished!
If we take a look at educational policy on an international stage, the most successful countries (PISA) are those that invest in education. Sadly Australia has lost its way.....at the state and federal levels. The states take money away and the federal government offer it in the form of schemes such as performance bonuses which have not improved student performance in any country in the world.
Anonymous student, Horsham
I am the parent of 5 boys. Four of whom have hugely benefited from the TAFE system of education. Son 1 went to TAFE, completed two computing courses and then on to Uni where he completed further training in Bendigo. Now works for Google.
Son 2 worked at many occupations before settling on youth work and just recently completed a Diploma in Community Services through TAFE.
Son 3 worked in retail for several years and is now at TAFE following his dream; Bachelor in Contemporary Music.
Son 4 is an apprentice Farrier and attends Trade School run by TAFE.
Son 5 is still at home but may want to attend TAFE if the government makes this possible by continuing funding.
Carleen Sing, parent, Shelbourne
I am a support staff member who the Government's tafe funding cuts will directly have an affect on. Thanks to Mr Baillieu I will probably be lining up in the centrelink queue. But that's ok. It's the Students with disabilities whom which I work with that are going to suffer much more than me. Tafe is for some of these students their only opportunity to obtain an education with help in the classroon from people like myself. I am an Interpreter - a deaf persons way of communicating/hearing what is being said in class. Mr Baillieu, have you thought about the PEOPLE you are discrimminating against by taking away their Rights to ACCESS and PARTICIPATE in EDUCATION with SUPPORT for access just like any other student at tafe. Shame on you Mr Baillieu. SAVE TAFE STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES, SACK TED BAILLIEU!
Irene Hill, Bendigo
I studied a Cert III in Science after (regrettably) having not completed any Sciences in Yrs 11 or 12 at high school level. After 6 years dabbling in many different areas, I decided I'd like to give medicine a go, but I had no way of getting in with no undergraduate degree, experience or bucketloads of cash. Four years later, and I am in my final year of a Bachelor of Biomedical Science, with a stable job in the healthcare sector, some research papers in the pipeline, and a wealth of contacts.
To this day, I still use the skills that I learned at TAFE level, and I simply would have absolutely no chance of ever hoping to study to become a doctor. I firmly believe that TAFE is as important as Uni level education in the Science and Technology sector, and the last thing this state needs is less contributions toward this area. I owe a great deal to TAFE and the wonderful & experienced staff who are its lifeblood.
Edward Harcourt, student, Yarraville
I am a mature aged student and I am currently enrolled in the Advanced Diploma of Building Design. I also work part time for an iconic Australian company and have been employed there for the past 23 years. Sadly the company is seeing the devastation of greed from those who sit in the ivory towers and dictate to the working class. The company is haemorageing fast. So I took it upon myself to prevent my future unemployment and as a tax payer of many years embarked on furthering my education at TAFE so I can become fully self sufficient in my future years as I believe I have many more years of work in me. I have been overwhelmed by the amazing staff who lecture me, by there dedication and generosity of knowledge I am so excited about my future studies and career to follow. But sadly from all angles of my life there is fear and uncertainty. Whatever happened to the lucky country??? They keep telling us what a great place we have to live in but they want us to work harder, pay more, worry more, sacrifice more. Education should be accessible to all that desire it. The cost of my TAFE course currently puts a strain on our income but my family and I have sacrificed so as I can be trained in new skills, what will happen if my fees triple, I can barely afford them now what with 2 children whom I also pay sizeable school fees. It is absolutely disgusting what Ted Ballieu wants to do this to the budgets for TAFE. What about my children and all the other children in years to come it is immoral to do this to our education system. Whatever happened to political priorities of education and health, this is a tragedy of great proportions.......
Anonymous, The Gordon TAFE
I want to share with you what Mr Baillieu's Tafe cuts will mean for me, As a Student who is Deaf I need a Communication Aide to enable me to be able to participate in the class. To know what the teacher and other students are talking about. The support workers in the classes such as Communication Aides, Interpreters,note takers,Participation Aides, Tutors are for some Students the only way of accessing the courses they have a Right to be able to study. But without them myself and many other students with disabilities can no longer have access to Tafe because of Mr Baillieu's funding cut decision Thanks 4 taking away my Rights to Education.
Deaf Student, Bendigo
My partner and I both work within the same department at Kangan Institute. I have worked there for 12 years, my partner for 6, we met when he came to study with us. We have 3 young children to support and are extremely concerned. Within our team of 8 teachers 3 will lose their jobs within the next 2 weeks, and probably more by the end of the year. If we are "lucky" enough to stay what sort of environment will we be working in? Increased expectations on teaching staff, horrible vibe, less students, less time available to students......it just sounds terrible.
We don't want to lose our jobs, not now or the end of the year, but if we do stay there will be no certainty and it will not be an enjoyable place to work. I love Kangan, I love teaching, but these changes are not going to allow quality education for our students who need us the most.
Krissi, teacher, Airport West
I work for a Disability Employment Services provider in Gippsland. The people I work with are some of the most disadvantaged people there are, and very often, a funded TAFE course is their only hope of gaining meaningful employment. Is the government really going to destroy the only hope these people have?
David Morgan, Korumburra
I am studying at TAFE currently. this is so harsh for education fund to be ripped off. Education means this country's future. I am not sure how this decision is made. this is very frustrated for students. I can already see how students talking about new year fee rise.
Sara, student, Melbourne
What is the point of going to tafe if you are going to make our courses expenses put to the extreme????? We might as well all go to Uni and pay what we will be paying at TAFE - but then again that is exactly what the Liberal Government wants, isn't it? To make it all one way or the other ... easy for the rich to go to school ... not so easy for the poor-classed souls. That will improve the workforce now won't it?? Or maybe not, considering you may end up with more people depressed and unable to work due to being put into workplaces they loathe!!
Upon finishing secondary school I had no idea what I wanted to study, so I didn't, instead I went traveling and worked. I gained some wonderful knowledge in the workplace but knew that hospitality just wasn't going to be my life career. Last year I applied for a course in Advertising at RMIT as it was something I was always interested in. I chose this course as a pathway to study the degree. After being accepted I then had to pack my stuff and move to Melbourne. This was big for me, I had never lived anywhere else and moving from a small country town to the city away from my family and friends daunted me. I knew however that for me to improve my education this was the chance I had and I had to grasp it. I applied for youth allowance and it was approved, this could not cover all the expenses that I am faced with as a student with no other financial income, however I did manage, I moved into a house with two other people from Beechworth, my hometown and together we live well. Aside from choosing a TAFE course for a path way I also chose it because it provided a lower financial commitment. With the introduction of the TAFE cuts I will be looking at paying approximately $6000 on top of my $1000 payment. That's for just one semester. As a result I will not be able to afford to study or support myself in Melbourne and will have no choice but to return home to Beechworth where the only education i could pursue is Teaching or Nursing. I don't want to study those, they are not options for me. Ted Baillieu tried to screw nurses over and now he wants to sabotage education. Why? so that the general public can spend their time at government funded events like the Grand Prix. Tell me Mr Baillieu, what's more important? The future of education or pumping money into events like those.
Marli Tapsall, student, South Yarra
... Shame on every Member of this Parliament as they silently accept the unjust attack on the TAFE system. Shame on both the University of Ballarat and the State Government for abandoning students 75% through their course.
What then will be the outcome for my son who we have encouraged to complete secondary school and gain a tertiary qualification to enhance his career prospects? At the end of this semester he will have completed 3/4 of a recognised qualification with no avenue open for completion. Our son is justifiably disillusioned with this government and its commitment to youth and education. The last 18 months has been difficult enough for him having to move away from his home and support network and we ask for what reward? Our family has made many personal, emotional and considerably large financial investment to assist our son and we are left questioning and doubting this state government's integrity and belief in vocational training and the education system. We therefore ask what are you going to do to compensate for the undue stress, financial burden, and loss of educational pathway and employment prospects?
Leanne Flaherty & Bill Payne, parents, Sale
... The University of Ballarat's response to meet the challenges presented by the State Governments cuts to TAFE funding mean that all but one Cultural Industries TAFE program is proposed to cease delivery from 2013.
Whilst it is not unusual for the TAFE sector of the University to re-align itself to demand by dis-continuing programs, the proposal to cease delivery of all TAFE cultural industries programs bar one indicates a deeper problem for the University in the provision of these programs under the new funding model.
My deep concern is that once these long standing programs have gone, there will be little or no chance they will return. Whilst this is a difficult loss to measure, I know from long experience that these programs, or variations thereof provide important access to tertiary education for a wide sector of our community. The philosophy sitting behind the changes to funding arrangements for TAFE providers in Victoria is documented as creating a more competitive Education and Training Market. This philosophy may create a more efficient model of VET education in Victoria for some industry sectors, but in my view, the cultural industries will have little or no professional level presence under the current TAFE funding model. TAFE Arts Education differs from a Higher Education model in the accessibility and flexibility of delivery and assessment.
We currently have students enrolled in TAFE Arts programs aged between 17 and 77 years old, reflecting the diversity of our cohort. The flexibility of these programs delivered in Ballarat and Horsham allow a response to community need and for many decades have been structured for affordability. In recent years the delivery of Visual Arts to the Indigenous Community and Ceramics to a Ballarat Multi-Cultural group, primarily Sudanese women, are examples of adapting programs for client needs. Without a critical mass of TAFE programs and the accompanying staff knowledge, opportunities to serve the community in this way will not happen. These services will not be taken up by private RTOs (Registered Training Organisations).
It is well documented that strong regional economic development and an active cultural industry sector are joint partners in maintaining livable cities and regional centers. TAFE arts programs at the Arts Academy are part of our regions cultural fabric impacting the vitality of our city and subsequent economic activity. The Arts Academy continues a long history of Arts Education in this region, dating back to 1879, when the School of Mines and Industries first held arts classes. This makes this institution the oldest art school in Victoria, and possibly the second oldest in Australia after East Sydney Technical College. Without some form of change in view or funding model, a 133-year history of arts education in this form is currently threatened and possibly gone within the next few weeks.
Paul Lambeth, teacher, University of Ballarat TAFE
I enrolled into three Certificate IV in Horticulture courses (Parks & Gardens, Landscape, Conservation & Land Management) at GippsTAFE Morwell campus in 2009, as they were offering the three certificates in one year at the time (many subjects were shared between the three courses), and because of my passion and interest in horticulture, I thought it would be a great way for me to get back into study, as well as a way to help me improve my chances of gaining employment and work experience in the industry. However, despite winning the overall student achievement award in horticulture for that year, I could not complete the course due to personal circumstances.
After inquiring again at the beginning of this year, and with only two subjects left for me to complete and gain the qualifications, I discovered that I would now have to pay full fee, due to a previous diploma in an unrelated field that I had earned years earlier. I simply could not afford to finish those remaining subjects. Left with uncompleted studies in horticulture that I cannot use, it leaves me at a disadvantage.
My name is Sophie Hyde, and I come from a rural town called Cobram in Victoria. I have travelled such distances because Ballarat TAFE, had shown great value in their education, their teachers, as well as students. I am studying Certificate III Hospitality (Commercial Cookery).
I decided that I would move out on my own, to somewhere I knew that my dreams and goals would come true. However having heard about the money cuts, I have become very hateful towards my own government. They should be taking care of our education, not destroying it.
Us students are not the only ones who suffer. Our families suffer because they are the ones who are proud that we are TAFE students, and are taking our own steps into our future. Our teachers suffer, because you are taking their jobs, and their happiness away, yes their happiness! I suffer because now my future plans are at stake.
I love Ballarat, I thought I would live here for another couple of years, study my Diploma & Advanced Diploma of Hospitality, and then move overseas. Now I am rethinking my entire life goal, and how I am going to finish my last year of TAFE.
Don't take our money, we are the future.
Sophie Hyde, student, Ballarat
TAFE has not made it easier for me to return to study, TAFE has made it possible. I have been on Disability Support Pension for many years. Although I have skills and talents that could be well used in our community, I have not, until TAFE had the support required to finding a new vocation. If it were not for the support of TAFE staff, such as Learning support, counsellors and teachers, I would have no hope of studying or ever returning to work. Cutting my opportunities at TAFE does not just deny me, it denies all the people I will help in my future vocation. How much is that worth?
Keren, student, Benalla
... The Gordon gave me the support and confidence I needed to want to go on and learn and share knowledge. Since completion of year 12 I have built a very successful nursing career with further studies at Graduate Diploma and Masters level. I have been teaching nursing for both The Gordon and other institutions for 8 years. In that time I consistantly found the Gordon TAFE to be an excellent learning facility. ... Nursing can not afford to lose any form of education from The Gordon who I hold in high regard as a major contributor of high quality nursing training. ...
My 20 year old daughter is currently studying a Pre Apprenticeship Electrician Course at Gordon TAFE. ... She believes that if these funding cuts occur some of the teachers will have to go and the fees will probably increase by 50%.
What will happen to the school leavers of the coming years with reduced services and choices available for their future careers. I see these funding cuts as the government blatently turning their back on assisting Victorians to recieve tertiary education and achieve successful professional careers. The TAFE system will be squeezed so hard that more and more people will have no alternative but to look toward private RTOs (who may provide a suboptimal learning experience). There will be a great loss of industry knowledge with teachers being retrenched. The fees are set to esculate considerably. These drastic cutbacks are outrageous and we can not sit on our hands and allow it to happen. We all need to stand up for the future of Australians and the right for all individuals to access education at a reasonable price from expert industry leaders.
Jacqui Terry, teacher, Geelong
I am a mature-age student of the University of Ballarat. I have just finished my Diploma of Professional Writing & Editing in 2011. These cuts will effect not only trade courses but also the 'arts' including the valued course of writing. I am not alone when I say that the PWE staff are a valuable resource to those students wishing to obtain a degree in Editing and Writing and deserve to keep teaching this art form. We are very lucky to have a course such as this in Ballarat where many artistically creative people reside. Most importantly is the fact that courses that teach the arts including Journalism are the backbone of this country (free speech); without people to write or critique the 'celebrity-based politics', then the politicians wouldn't have a job because no one would be writing about them. Clearly there is something wrong with our system when money is taken from our educati onal institutions in order to fund tomato and lettuce sandwiches for the Pollies! Have we lost the plot?
Nicole Frith, student, Ballarat
My son did not do well in his VCE studies (not because he was not bright - just not overly motivated). He undertook the Certificates III and IV in Fitness through the local TAFE. The course and the trainers were excellent and he completed his studies very well. It was an extensive and well structured training across a full year (not a few weeks as the private providers offer). He did so well, he was encouraged to continue to complete the Diploma in Fitness. These studies, along with his personal attributes allowed him to secure an excellent job allied to fitness, which he still holds today. Along with the specific discipline skills and knowledge in fitness, my son grew in confidence at his ability to organise his time, write assignments of quality and allow him to apply his knowledge in a very practical way. My son now wants to complete an Advanced Diploma in Management. TAFE gave my son a chance he would not have had otherwise. The fitness courses are now being cut from the Ballarat TAFE. How many young people will not be able to pursue study for a career now? Thank you to the Ballarat TAFE and shame, shame, shame on people who would make cuts to public spending whilst allowing dubious private providers to steal public money. Slashing TAFE funding is wrong at every level it can be wrong. Where are people going to learn skills? By all means, reign in the debt, but don't cut money to the well established public sector to prop up the private sector that are out to make money out of training.
Sandra, parent, Ballarat
I am a 53 year old Kangan Institute IT student. I returned to Tafe to gain some new skills after I hurt my back and couldn't do physical work anymore. I am too old to go to uni and could not learn in that kind of environment anyway, it was a big step just going to Tafe. I chose Tafe to get face to face contact, support and practical teaching methods. Now I may not be able to afford to study at all. Where does that leave my career?
To top it off, my god daughter has cared for and supported me financially since I hurt myself. She is a Tafe teacher, what are we going to do if she loses her job?
Peter Whiteman, student, Broadmeadows
I am an IT teacher, as well as a student of Kangan Institute. The course I had planned to enrol into next year has been cut, in fact we will lose 6 courses and 4 staff by July in our department alone. KI's entire hospitality department will close. By next year I may be jobless and not able to study in my chosen field. It's a sad time for Victoria.
Anonymous, Kangan Institute
AGA provided shocking training to my son. As a result he is unable to obtain employment as a tradesman because his skills were shocking and so bad. When he tried to get a job he was soon let go as a result. I sent him to gippstafe last year and the experts there took him from unemployable to now a qualified pressure welder. He has now a good job. Thanks alex terranova and ben gordon for giving my son hope and my husband and i content in seeing him develop. Without tafe we leave a bleak future. We need tafe.
Vanessa, student, Morwell
In 2001 I graduated with an arts degree and still had to pay rent. Through a series of misadventures I ended up working in the TAFE system and have stayed there since, shifting from Melbourne to Mildura several years ago. I've spent the last few years working at SuniTAFE. Although I no longer work there (pursuing my own business using skills obtained in the TAFE sector), I'm still passionate about TAFE. Why? Because I have had the opportunity of seeing how TAFE can change peoples' lives and the privilege to be a part of that system and that change.
Jaimie Duncan, Mildura
I am grateful for our TAFE system. The skills and courses required for the Builders and apprentices too need to be still made available.This is a growing area in our country where we need skilled labour forces.Many immigrants and youth need employment and Tafe provides the means at an affordable rate for people to gain the knowledge to better themselves.
I am currently studying Certificate II & III in Business Administration on campus. The course will no longer be offered on campus at Sunraysia Institute of TAFE. There are no follow on courses offered on campus at Sunraysia TAFE and I am having trouble finding a traineeship in Certificate IV because it isn't funded by the government. I want to be able to continue my education in a classroom environment. If people cannot do that then they will not study at all and we will end up with more people unemployed. It is riciculous that the government are cutting back on funding for Education! The Victorian government really need to think about what they are doing, I am sure that they could cut back on other things that are less important than Education.
Emma Crozier, student, Mildura
I am a paraprofessional Auslan interpreter. I gained my accreditation through Central Tafe in WA, a two year diploma in Auslan followed by a year, part time, studying interpreting. The Interpreter's course there to prepare students for the NAATI accreditation, this you need to practice anywhere in Australia outside of the lower education system. Auslan interpreters are an invaluable resource for Australians who are Deaf or Hearing Impaired. Without these courses available there will be no more interpreters coming through and this will cause a deficit in accessibility for the people who have fought so hard to attain it.
Budget cuts effect more than just the students who are losing the opportunity to study in their chosen field. There is a ripple effect to the larger community and people should be encouraged to speak out about this.
Michelle Phillips, student, Brisbane
As a supporter of training younger children doing their Certificate 2 and 3's in Retail while just starting in the workforce (NOT VET COURSES as the government keep saying to cover up their cutting)!! You have now cut the vocational funding subsidy so deeply that our Tafe can no longer sustain running these courses for the kids of our up and coming future business hub!! I believe it is an essential area for the younger ones to have early training in the basics of OH&S, Customer Service and other basic retail functions. ... Shame on you all for cutting the Retail Funding!! This will ruin alot of jobs, including mine! So now I have to go and struggle with raising 2 young children and hope that there may be a job out there for me to take up under this ever growing collapsing workforce!!
Anonymous, Box Hill TAFE
I am a member of the pacct staff at Sunraysia Institute of TAFE, I have just been made redundant, my husband was made redundant a day before me from his job, we have two primary aged children and as of July we will both unemployed and are wandering how we are going to survive.
At our information evening tonight I met a lady whose story convinces me that the skills reform disenfranchises those people for whom TAFE should be there. She has been an at-home mother for 13 years. Before then she had completed a Diploma of Teaching, but never used the qualification. She finally 'got up the courage' to follow up her interest in undertaking a qualification in Library and Information Studies, and came to the information evening. It was obvious that it really had taken quite an effort on her behalf to come. She listened to the course outline and qualification options and was convinced that she would be most suited to the Certificate IV, not having studied for a long time. She liked the idea of the practical nature of this course as well.
Then came the betrayal by the Skills Reform system. Because of the Diploma undertaken years ago, she will not qualify for any government funding. She will be paying full fees upfront for all Cert IV units, which she cannot afford.
She was devastated by the lack of support in the system for mothers returning to work, and for mature age students looking at career changes. As a staff member I felt helpless and angry at a system that does not support mature-age studies (many of whom have prior qualifications).
Renate Beilharz, teacher, Box Hill Institute
My child had a challenging last two years of high school. There was never any intention for further education. However applications were submitted after some second thoughts and teacher encouragement. Hopes were high for the Professional Writing and Editing Diploma and Bachelor of Arts at Ballarat University. A first round offer was accepted.The adventure was underway with huge family effort, adjustment, organisation, emotional and financial strain as at the tender age of eighteen our baby moved away from home to begin a dream. Blossoming during the first year, hard work was rewarded with good grades.
Second year began (2012), a little more demanding but perserverance prevailing the student would thrive. The recent Readings Evening at SMB was an exceptional showcase of talent . As parents we are so proud and supportive. It all seems worth it.
Perhaps if such evenings were attended by the cheque endorsers they could experience first hand the talent they are about to snuff out. The message being sent to our enterprising youth is that they are not worthy, yet the unlawful element of society is more deserving of the same dollar. Please don't crush hopes & dreams of being a productive participant of society. One extremely concerned parent and voter.
Anonymous, The Patch
Hi to all of us that feel angry and saddened about the decimation of the VET sector. I want to tell my story because for it were not for TAFE I would not have had the chance to develop the self confidence and belief in myself to improve my life and have a great and rewarding career.
I have sooooo many wonderful TAFE teachers to thank for that. When I started at TAFE in 1990 I had no confidence, I enrolled in an Office Administration course at the School of Mines and Industries Ballarat. It was wonderful, I met new people, and developed fabulous work skills, and grew my confidence. Then I studied this thing called "Information Technology", and I loved it. In fact I loved it sooooo much I returned to TAFE the following year to study an Information Technology course, never dreaming where that would take me. Over time I gained skills, and knowledge and a command of the software, encouraged by wonderful, dedicated teachers (many of whom still work at SMB campus of the University of Ballarat). I gained so much courage I enrolled in a Bachelor of Computing degree at the University of Ballarat, I went on to become as sessional TAFE teacher and am now working as an Information Technology lecturer at the University of Ballarat, next year I hope to finish my PhD. All of that because of a wonderful pathway through the TAFE system. To the Victorian Government, don't take the opportunity for greatness away from dreamers like me, TAFE completely changed my life. I am forever grateful.
Sally Firmin, teacher, Lismore
I completed a TAFE course at Maquarie Fields TAFE about seven years ago. I attended this course as a wall and floor tiler every Saturday for two years. I enjoyed the learning experience so much that I went on to enroll in university. I have just completed my B.A. and a Masters of Teaching degree and am now in a full time teaching position in Walgett NSW. Due to that initial learning experience in TAFE I am now a highly qualified professional. TAFE needs to be fully funded and supported by all governments State and Federal.
Robert Holden, teacher, Walgett north-western NSW
I'm a student at Chisholm Institute of TAFE struggling to constantly pay for my tuition already increase in tuition will only add to the stress of day to day living for m e and will push me out of getting the education necessary to make me employableand will drive me into a private school which will only rush me through my learning process and not give me adequate skills for the industry. I'm disgusted that this is happening to students who want to get a education to work and in future help stimulate Australia's economy. Please stop this from happening and effecting the education and financial situations of hundreds if not thousands.
My husband and myself have worked at sunraysia institute of tafe for 5 years, he has just been told he is redundant along with 25 other fellow workers. This is going to have a massive impact not just on my family but on the community we live in, both my daughters go to tafe but I can no longer afford to pay for the course my yongest daughter is enrolled in and we may have to sell our house as we can,t afford the repayments on one wage. This means we may look at moving interstate to find alternative employment. These cutbacks will result in more and more rural community's struggling to survive. We don't blame our local tafe for this we blame the government.
Debbie McDonald, Mildura
I couldn't afford the fees for university after high school and TAFE allowed me to start my education. I love my course and the teachers are so helpful and I couldn't have done without their support. If TAFE funding is cut further, I won't be able to graduate and start my career. I thought the government wanted all students to have the chance to study and learn. I was wrong.
Caroline S, student, Swinburne Hawthorn
I am a disabled student studying Sound Production at GMEC. The sketchy information I have, is that because I will have completed Cert III and Cert IV in the same calendar year, I cannot get funding to study the Diploma in the second half of this year. The course will not run, because six of the dozen or so students would need to come up with around $4000 each for fees to fulfil minimum numbers.
There seems to be a great deal of confusion even amongst staff, as to exactly how this works. Can the FEE-HELP program be used instead of the usual funding channels? This is a National program, and technically a loan, not Victorian funding.
The only reason I am living in Geelong, is for the course. Some students re-located here, from rural Victoria, and signed leases. Had we known this would be the situation, our lives would have been planned very differently.
The changes have made this year an expensive waste of time for those among us who can least afford it, and desperately need the training to build better careers.
This government says they want to help private enterprise, which they claim can also provide courses more efficiently. Why, then, don't they consult private sector employers about whether they respect "quickie" "qualifications" provided by many private RTOs in days or weeks, at public expense.
Are they scared of hearing the answer they don't want to hear, because private expressions are that they have no confidence in these "qualifications".
Even a private RTO staff employee said that he believed almost half should be closed immediately, instead of the handfull that are closed to make it look like the auditors are keeping the industry clean.
Saying that TAFE is safe because funding for training will increase is a sham as increasingly the funding has gone to subsidize the private RTOs.
I studied IT at Blue Mountains TAFE around 12 years ago now and if it wasn't for the subsidised places available, there was no way I could have retrained and ended up where I am today. I was a single mum of 3, struggling with cafe jobs, and wanted to gain skills that would enable me to have greater job prospects and a more challenging position. I wanted to better my life for myself and my children, then and into the future.
I studied full-time and part-time over about 4 years, and found the teaching staff so supportive. It was a fabulous community, and each teacher brought their own life experience to the classrooms too. I have now been working in the business technology sector for 10 years and have a fabulous job working with one of the world's most innovative company. TAFE rocks... and everybody needs that chance.
Annie Swanton, Lawson NSW
Premier Baillieu you are a bloody disgrace, seriously you are going to take away the opportunity for people of all ages to better themselves and basically render them unemployable because they have no skills to enter their chosen field... what private school did you attend and what uni did you go to.. no wait... were you born with a silver spoon in your mouth? Take it out and shove it where the sun don't shine... The amount of people working in Tafe's around the state will be out of work, let alone the people who are studying in Tafe's to make a better life for themselves... DISGRACEFUL !!!!!!!!!!!!
I am a disabled adult in rural Victoria with hardly any opportunities to advance myself and very little hope of employment. What little hope of employment I have lies in being able to retrain myself in some of the emerging technologies at my own expense. I am a self funded retiree getting a small disability pension from my (x SEC) superannuation fund. I get no Government handouts, I am not on a Centrelink payment and therefore do not get free education as some are entitled to. I don't even get a health care card. I pay fees and provide my own equipment and indeed had to take loans out this year to buy the equipment to allow me to work from home and do my course at the local TAFE. In the last 12 months I have had to save up over $2000 from my pension just to pay my fees. This has meant cutting back on heating and mobility. I simply cannot afford to continue if the fees go up. This will effectively kill any chance I have of getting my life back.
I am appalled that this Government is dismantling a system that is the only hope of those that are in my situation or worse.
Ron Ipsen, student, Moe
I have been at TAFE for under a year now. It has been such an experience being involved in an education that is flexable, understanding, and fits my needs.
I was severely bullied at school, and I have finally have a chance to be apart of a mature atmosphere.
It angers me that the government has cut 200 from TAFES, which is such a fundamental part of education.
Rachel Courtis, student, Pakenham
As a student I would normally complete my course through a local TAFE, but due to the cost cutting I ended up trying to complete my course through an organisation in another state. Um I was not so successful. Little assistance was provided, incorrect information and a total disregard resulted in me withdrawing from the course. My husband has had a similiar experience. It should not be about tick a box, buy a qualification, but rather education. I have done a TAFE course before. It was wondeful. The staff were supportive and dedicated to me as a student. They were from Swinburne. I have a slight disability. The staff helped me over and above. The course I did online. No one was really interested in me as a person.
Trish, student, Lilydale
The other day in the local paper I saw jobs advertised for cleaners. People who had a Certificate III were told not to apply. Obviously the cleaning company was going to use government money, as one of these dodgy RTOs to train up or even pay part of the wages of the person who got the job.
Graeme Sparkes, teacher, NMIT
I am an ESL teacher. Last year we were told we couldn't start a class until 20 students were enrolled, a direct result of management's strategy to deal with the huge cuts in funding as a result of the Skills Victoria policy. This was unprecedented. I have had many years ESL teaching experience, and 20 students is the maximum number, not the minimum, in an ESL class before best practice is compromised.
Graeme Sparkes, teacher, NMIT
I am a first year student doing certificate III in Interior Decoration which is what I want to be when I leave school. If I lose this course I won't be able to have the qualifications I need to be an Interior Designer/Decorator.
The cuts of funding to my campus effects me because i am a first year and the cuts may mean i can't complete my course because i may have to pay much more money to complete my course. Having the cuts on tafe education means more then what the goverment thinks it does it mean jobs will disappear and kids that are more hand on like myself can not go anywhere with there education. The cuts are wrong and shoud not stick.
I would not be where I am today without the exceptional training and education provided through the TAFE system. With the growing demand for qualifications, skills and experience required by employers, TAFE is the most accessible option for many people looking to change careers or obtain a better employment position. The Baillieu Government's cuts to TAFE funding are a disgraceful attack on the VET sector that will particularly disadvantage those from a low socio-economic background that may be unable to pay the higher fees. This budget is a disgrace and Victorians will remember it at the next election.
James, student, Footscray
... After many years of working predominantly in health clubs as a personal trainer, prior to the Government making its irresponsible decision to fund immoral private RTO's, numerous times I have cringed and continue to cringe at the amount of poor quality personal trainers in the fitness industry. ... For as long as I can remember BHI has always had the best reputation for delivering personal training courses and putting quality trainers into industry. From my experience the quality of trainers who have graduated from Tafe's in general has outweighed the quality of trainers from private RTO's. The frustration of high turnover of personal trainers in industry eventually got the better of me and I decided to start teaching fitness so that I could be a part of delivering good quality training. ... The solution is simple, continue the funding in the Tafe sector to enable quality courses to continue to operate and take away all funding handed out to the shonky private RTO's followed by a more stringent auditing process to weed out any RTO's handing out dodgy qualifications.
Anonymous, Box Hill Institute
Well I thought I was in trouble last time I wrote in the "TAFE for ALL' campaign back in 2010. Now we are totally under pressure. There is an extremely high chance my science courses (the last science ones left in TAFE at Ballarat) are going to disappear with these budget cuts. They will not be "viable". That makes me not "viable" too. If I do have any programs left they will be cut to the bare minimum and we will fall further behind industry standards. I keep hearing from everywhere we have to be more competitive and "act like a private RTO". Well I do not want to compromise my name or that of the Universities to stoop to their level of low quality course and lack of care for their students. Well with this round of state budget cuts there will be no TAFE left for the Government to cut further, perhaps thats what they have wanted all along? We are all very fearful for our jobs, our courses and more importantly that the future students will have no options left to gain quality training and will be left with empty qualifications.
Sharon, teacher, University of Ballarat
I have been studying at GippsTafe for the last 2 years now, doing a Diploma in Graphic Design. I left high school in 2009, year 9, due to depression and bullying.
I decided to come to Tafe, and although it has been expensive for a 15 year old with two parents who don't work, i have managed, and it has been the best decision i have made. I am nearly ready to get my diploma, and i am a lot happier then what i was at school, and i feel better knowing i have done it on my own.
If they make Tafe unaffordable, there will be more students and people on centrelink, and a lot less people working, due to they will not be able to study and get the qualifications they need to get jobs, and do what they enjoy. Increasing the fees is the absolutely wrong decision to make for the students future.
I know with out Tafe i would not be who i am, and increasing fees would of stopped me from doing something i enjoy!!!
Keira, student, Melbourne
I have been using the services of TAFE to increase my skills base since 2000, doing short courses such as communicating with the deaf or to change my career options such as moving from the preschool teacher sector into community services/development. I have found TAFE courses have always been accessible, affordable and structured to support anyone with a desire to increase their knowledge base and has provided an avenue for education to be footsteps for the future. I feel changes to the funding are going to lead to many Australians being denied the option of access to change their future directions leading to a feeling of helplessness and hopelessness ... very sad to see.
Karen Williams, student, Frankston
... I am a volunteer English tutor working with refugees. I have seen first-hand how valuable vocational training and English courses are for these people in engaging with the workforce and gaining in self-esteem and confidence. Often though they are operating within a totally alien culture and environment, and it is my understanding that TAFE and other related institutions had been working at tailoring programs to combat the exclusion some can feel within the education system. Most refugees have suffered horrific events and some have been languishing in camps for decades. So counselling services, learning support and libraries are essential to sustain their enthusiastic participation.
My fear, and the fears of those refuges I have spoken with, is that many eager people initially so ready to change their lives, get an education, and work, will not now see this keenness nurtured. The diminishing support services on top of the new fee structure will put serious impediments on the ability of these people to participate in learning and proudly make their own valuable contributions to society.
These cuts have reduced my children's choices. Does this government only care about the rich private school kids?
Wendy Hiam, parent, Berwick
TAFE gave me the opportunity of completing an Advaced Diploma in computer systems engineering as a mature student with family, mortgage and bills, at an affordable price. The quality of the teaching and the skills that I gained from TAFE made it possible for me to have a career and the job that I always dreamed of. I will always be thankful of the teachers who not only taught me the skills but also built up my confidence to achieve my dreams. I am a big fan of TAFE as a fountain of knowledge and skills for all young and mature students and will support it to continue providing opportunities for professional development for all those who need them.
Nelly Sobarzo, Berwick TAFE
I am a sessional teacher for Chisholm. I teach for Chisholm because I enjoy the classes and because I'm the sole income for my family and need to pay a mortgage. The funding cuts to TAFEs mean they will offer less courses, merge departments and won't require sessional teachers. This greatly disadvantages me, my students and ultimately the full time staff who will have to retrain in the areas I cover. They will be working harder and longer for little or no pay increase.
Please review these funding cuts and consider again the implications for everyone affected, not just an immediate money grab to plug a hole elsewhere.
David Perry, teacher, Chisholm Frankston
As an employee, I came to TAFE to further my skills as a librarian, provide assistance to students undertaking research, and give training sessions, especially to ESL students and those needing academic skills.The students had difficulty using electronic resources due to a either a disadvantaged background or language and cultural differences which caused learning difficulties. These students have no other way of getting into the job market.
Where do these students go now?
Where do I go now?
I am a teacher/coordinator at NMIT Building Structures and Services. I have 44 years experience in our industry and seen many governments come and go. As part of the baby boomer group and ready to retire I wanted to return my trade knowledge to the younger trades people who wanted to make our trade their career and they do have a genuine desire.
After attending many professional development seminars with skills Victoria and other government bodies in control of the education and development of trade apprentices in Australia it became clear that in Australia we have a reality of a huge amount of our experienced trade people retiring from industry in the next five years.
Australia has a small population in comparison to other continents and always have depended on import of skilled labor to supplement the current shortage.
This time the government has got the timing wrong. We can't reduce the training of apprentices that takes three to four years to prepare them for the trades by increasing their fees or cutting the funding to RTO's to the point where it not economical possible to deliver the courses required.
... Private Registered Training Organisations have joined in and have been given incentive to increase their training of apprentices by on site training programs where the apprentices are trained and assessed by their unqualified employers and we are brewing a generation of slap it up short cut single experience trainees for our industries.
I will have say at NMIT because we produce an all experience quality apprentice and many of our employers have also been ex NMIT students, we currently have about the same enrolments as last year. We hear many other RTO's don't and they have had to close classes and some whole departments as a result teachers and assessors are made redundant and students are lost.
This current cut in funding will reduce the capacity of TAFE colleges to continue to train apprentices for future industry and place our gross domestic produce for future generations in jeopardy.
Brad McLuckie, teacher, Heidelberg
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 26 number 1 states that "everyone has the right to education".
After 12 years of working in for a corporate company, I decided it was time retrain in a field that I was extremely passion about. Unfortunately, I didn't realise how much it was going to cost to compete the Diploma of Community Services at The Gordon in Geelong. To cover cost of school and to support myself I am working two casual jobs, I am fortunate that I was able to move back home to cut some of the living costs, however this isn't an ideal situation to be in. VET fee help, has interest charged at 22%, so by the time I start earning enough to pay off the VET fee help debt I will be paying more than the original amount it cost for me to do the course. There is a lot of pressure to pass all subjects this year as any failing either classroom subject or placement will mean that repeating the subject will incur a further cost of both the classroom and placement, a cost I cannot cover and no that courses being cut at means that if I fail this year they might not be available next year and I won't compete my Diploma.
Registered Training Organisations provide cheaper courses delivered in shorter time, this provides the individual with inadequate training, in the sector that I am going into will send people who won't have the skills needed to cope with the stress and issues that are faced in the community and allowing the work force to be placed in a situation that is going to be harmful not just for the worker but the family needing the help, it is very neglectful on the government's part.
The Government withdrawing concessions from TAFEs will create a greater gap for individuals who come from a lower socio-economic background. TAFE use to help people develop skills to better their life, but with concessions being withdrawn this is disadvantage people and keeping them in at the level that society expects them to live at. Also, this could threaten employers who count on TAFE based subjects for their traineeships as they will no longer be able to afford to hire.
Nina Cleary, student, The Gordon
I am a mature aged student who never had the ability to commit myself to anything.
I finally found something i was good at, I have one more year to go of my Professional Writing & Editing course.
Our course has been cut already, if any more cuts were to be made I would lose out on all the hard work i have done.
I have two children who depend on me to better myself so i can give them a better education.
Please don't take any more away from me than you already have. I am trying to better myself so i don't have to rely on the government financially for the rest of my life.
If you take more finding away this is what will happen to me and many others.
Anonymous, RMIT Carlton
Holmesglen have half a billion is assets. Yet the management won't take a paycut, no they want to get rid of the rank and file who run their place.
Yet they waste money like water on programs like customer service (who are charging $500 a mystery call), keep staff who should really go, charge students for parking & stay in their ivory towers.
After finishing VCE I completed a Diploma in Remedial Massage through a private provider. After working as a massage therapist for 2 years I decided I wanted to follow my creative passion so applied for Diploma in Visual Arts at RMIT and had to pay full-fee. I only did the first year as I decided I wanted to do music instead, I got into the Advanced Diploma at NMIT and thinking I might be saved from paying full-fee because it was a step up from diploma I was told it wasnt possible because the first year is cert IV but that next year I will be eligible because it is Adv Dip. Now the new reforms have come in and as a 24 year old I will again have to pay full-fee for another year. I am lucky my family has been able to support me up until now but I'm not sure if it will be possible again for next year. I think it is ridiculous that you can only be supported to complete one certificate or diploma in your lifetime, especially in this day, when changing careers is inevitable and in my case when I have never been given a government supported place in tertiary studies because my first diploma was paid for privately.
Go to to www.heat.org.au and see what tafe can do for youth at risk, our future is at risk with these funding cuts.
Arnold Greiner, teacher, WIlliam Angliss
I have been a sessional teacher for 11 years, working between two TAFE institutes and love my job. Have just found out that there is no more work for sessional staff at either TAFE. Very sad day....TAFE does such great work with students and I love teaching. Not sure what I will be doing next....
I am a TAFE student doing a writing course for this year. Next year I was going to switch to childhood development, and the problem isn't that it might not even run, the problem is the uncertainty and the fact I (along with many others) will have to deal with that stress all year. How can the government allow this to happen? It's wrong.
I am a student at the Castlemaine campus of BRIT. The teachers and staff there are great, they're always happy to help and no request is to big or small. Through the efforts of the staff at the tafe, I have learnt a great deal compared to a privately run company I was sent to.
I am a full-time tafe student. I also work far too many hours at a gaming complex to pay my way. I watch hundreds of regulars, who are mostly on the dole, and mostly healthy and capable, come in daily, drink and gamble their money away, while I serve them. I am practically paying to serve them. Yet, now I am not going to be able to afford to continue study if these cuts go through.
I have been a student of RMIT TAFE's Professional Writing and Editing program since 2004. The program is so vocationally-oriented that I began my own professional writing business before I even finished the course. I am now busy writing annual reports and other corporate documents for my clients while completing my last subjects.
A couple of years ago I was employed to write an education unit for the VET sector, and I can attest to the shoddiness of that system when compared to the quality of teaching and professional contacts I received through RMIT TAFE.
TAFE has also been a great stepping-stone for two of my brothers who did not receive VCE marks sufficient to allow them to study their University courses of choice (engineering and graphic design). Through TAFE they were able to eventually get into those courses and are both now working successfully in their chosen fields. TAFE is a great option for kids who, for whatever reason, need a second chance after high school.
I have been employed in TAFE since 1995, both as a researcher and as a teacher. During most of those years the Government supported TAFE wholeheartedly,obviously recognising the importance of retraining and upskilling of students is an important function of the TAFE education system.
Now my job, as well as the jobs of other TAFE employees, are being discarded like rubbish rags by a Government more concerned with privatisation than education. What's even more worrying is the Government has no creative plan for the future of its own major TAFE asset. It seems to be just another piece of "collateral damage" in the Government's quest to find extra dollars to fund its Private Provider mates. There is no requirement for Private Providers to be licenced nor limited to a restricted number to allow more even competition amongst all skills providers.
The Government and not TAFE is solely responsible for job losses in this sector and must be held accountable for the systematic destruction of the TAFE system in Victoria.
I appeal to all TAFE employees to support rallies and meetings to show the Government we will not tolerate being treated like dirt, while politicians can go on abusing their own privileges and still remain in office with full entitlements to pensions.
By the way, who will retrain teachers who have lost their jobs? Oh yes - Private Providers of course!
Terry O'Neill, teacher, Chisholm TAFE
In 2011 I graduated from Swinburne Uni TAFE's Advanced Diploma of Screen and Media, a course which I am incredibly grateful to have been a part of. I experienced a level of passion in the curriculum that was unsurpassed with any other training I have had in either an academic or workforce environment, and this was without a doubt the ideal learning environment for me.
I am currently completing my 1st and final year of a Bachelor thanks to my studies at TAFE, but nothing compares to the intensive, hands-on skills I gained there. It frustrates me to know that my former program is under threat and that prospective students and the industry will suffer as a result.
I have always proudly advocated the practical training my TAFE education has offered and I feel that Australians are fortunate to have such an effective trade-training system that is a major part of our academic and working culture. The Bailleu Government's failure to comprehend the significance of this system shows complete disregard for our education system and the future of a skilled Australia.
Kaylene, student, Tyler
Swinburne to close Automotive facility at Lilydale campus. Effects about 60 students in the local area. VCAL, Pre-Apprentices & Apprentices. Many students will be disadvantaged.
The casual role I have been working in as a general staff member for 1 year was approved as ongoing 2 weeks ago. The budget cuts came as a huge shock for our institute and as a result all new positions have been frozen. My casual contract ends on Friday. The institute cannot do without me, but they are no longer able to fund my position. There is nothing they can do. Next week, I will have to apply for the dole.
I am a single mum currently studying my diploma in community services, im only in my 1st year and as the cuts come our TAFE fees go up so how are we ment to afford education to better our future for our children...
Not all single mums can afford it and the government expects every one to work...
We cant because in this day and Age we need to be highly experianced to get a job but how can we do that if we cant afford TAFE fees...
Bailieu Government need to bring back our rights to Fair Education...
Natasha Parsons, student, Dandenong
My 23 year old son has had a challenging path in the education system. In Prep he was assessed as having high intellectual potential but never realised this due to behavioural issues and after a diagnosis of ADD took Ritalin for 3&1/2 years. In Year 7 he was diagnosed with dysgraphia - a specific learning disability. The school allowed him to bring a laptop to school to help with his SLD. This was still not enough. After consistent truantism he left the mainstream school and went to an alternative setting for 18 months before going to RMIT Tafe to do a VCAL plumbing course including pre-app. Towards the end of that year he was successful in gaining an apprenticeship which due to a business decision was terminated. He then spent a year on the couch before returning to RMIT Tafe to do Cert 3 Multi-media. This was beyond doubt his most successful year in education and he was awarded an Overall Excellence Award. He then attempted a Diploma at Swinburne but this was beyond his ability at the time. After some further difficulties he found employment as a teacher assistant at a Special Developmental School for 3&1/2 years. During this time he received a diagnosis of Aspbergers. After finishing his 3rd 1 year contract he decided to return to further training and is currently doing Cert 4 Multi-media again at RMIT Tafe. Once again he is doing extremely well and had hoped to go on to further studying undertaking the Diploma and potentially Advanced Diploma that were offered as the next steps. This career path is now in jeopardy and my son who has faced and overcome more challenges than most young people his age has yet another challenge to deal with. My husband's comment says it all 'When is he going to get a break?'
I undertook a Diploma of Liberal Arts degree at the CAE, completed in 2005. A wonderful experience with amazing teachers in a nurturing, encouraging & yet challenging environment. Teachers who were professional, committed and most of all, dedicated to positive outcomes for their students. They really wanted their students to succeed.Not neccessarily to achieve the highest marks, but also to gain confidence and self belief, which are of huge benefit. Not all people find school a positive experience or have had their learning curtailed for many reasons. TAFE provides other pathways for further education. With the challenges which face our society, we can only benefit from education of all kinds available to as many people as possible. We need to be smarter and more adaptable and to cut funds to education is shortsighted and in my opinion a stupid decision made by stupid politicians with no interest in the future wellbeing of Australia.
Julia McGrath, student, Melbourne
I enrolled in the Diploma of Liberal Arts offered at the CAE Melbourne. I have never (after 4 years at Monash University and 1 year at an American University) encountered such outstanding teachers - extent and depth of knowledge of their subjects was astonishing but more than anything, the small classes and the inspired teaching methodology and their great personal friendship - two of the best years of learning I have ever had - as a mature age student. I have looked extensively to try and find anything similar and have had no luck. The universities are most unwelcoming and their courses are incredibly expensive for those of us an set incomes. DLA was absolutely the best course I have ever undertaken and the teachers were absolutely outstanding and I am pleased to say that they have remained friends. I could never understand why this course wasn't marketed widely - Melbourne's Best Kept Secret.
Helen Cook, Melbourne CAE
I'm a Mum at home, that was looking to further education at TAFE as a way of making a career change. Having moved from Sydney, I've found that Regional TAFE's are fantastic - they are right on our doorstep, offer flexible learning options and provide a high quality education that is equivalent or better than what you find in the city. It is, or was, more affordable than university for me. If there are cuts, I'm not sure that I'll be able to continue down this career path. I hope that the cuts are reconsidered. We all need access to further education, whatever our age. Thank you.
As a supervisor of teachers I recently took my excessive workload issue up with TAFE HR. The discussion revolved around corporate expectations and trying to get a limit on work responsibilities and lines of accountability.
In the end the main problem causing my excessive workload - the lack of teachers with appropriate skills being employed to teach competency based training that they knew nothing about - was whitewashed. The reason? Because it would cost too much to train teachers in VET procedures and assessment. I was then described in front of HR as a "perfectionist" expecting teachers to do their duties by aligning training delivery with competencies. Well, aren't TAFE teachers supposed to understand the VET system??
This circular argument does nothing to ease my 11 hour days trying to additional work dealing with students constant questions related about competency based assessments and feedback they can't get from some inexperienced teachers.
I, and many experienced managers are looking around for other career moves. Sorry to the future generation! Time to move on.
Anonymous, RMIT Melbourne
I am a partial disabled person whom is unable to work, to continue to recieve my payments i must study, at the moment i am studying a certifiacte III in Business Admin, with the cuts it has meant that i might not be able to continue to study next yea leaving me no options at all and cutting me from my entitlements at centrelink, they want us to study and be qualified and get jobs how do they expect this to happen if there is no funding and no place to study, they just want more money in the richer pockets, as the saying goes the richer get rich and the poor get poorer.
I took a secure "that'll do" job path in my early twenties, knowing that my true passion lay elsewhere. I wasn't brave enough until my mid-thirties to take the enormous step of quitting my full-time, permanent, safe-but-misery-making job and apply for the Dip of Professional Writing and Editing at RMIT.
I have two undergrad degrees and a Masters in my initial 'chosen' field but the quality of instruction, support and inspiration I have found at TAFE have been far more conducive to real learning than anything I experienced at either of the Universities I attended.
The evidence of this? I haven't even finished the course and I have already secured a permanent job in my real chosen field. The skills I learned in the course also helped me to win a national award in 2010 for my creative ideas, and pitch these to some of the most powerful industry execs in the country. Without the flexibility, affordability, support and practical applications of my TAFE study, I know this would never have happened.
It has been devastating to see so many passionate and incredibly talented people drop out of my course over the last two years as our fees have risen astronomically. In fact, even working in a decent job and with the enthusiastic support of my employer, I could not have afforded to stay in the course if I wasn't one of the lucky few who is still paying the pre-TAFE-restructure fees.
Australians are a talented bunch and there are more internationally recognised creative professionals who have graduated from my course than Ted Baillieu has had hot dinners. He may be congratulating himself for not following Campbell Newman in cancelling our state literary awards here in Vic, but if the TAFE sector funding is savaged further, and courses like mine and the poor but talented students with them begin to disappear, there won't be anything worth awarding a prize to.
I have been studying the Professional Writing and Editing course at RMIT TAFE for 4 years part time as I work. I will not be able to finish my course due to the fees going up dramatically next year.
The course has been life changing for me and I have had several articles published and started writing my first book, with the help, support and training from our incredible teachers.
Anonymous, Clifton Hill
I have been a TAFE teacher for almost 13 years and have enjoyed working and sharing my knowledge and skills with students. I have never felt the uncertainty of my job as I do now. I am a sole single parent and I have worked hard to maintain a safe and secure environment for my 6 year old son, but recently I am wondering if my son and I are not going to be out on the streets. Recently the place that I rent has been sold and so I have two months to find a place to live. I have been filling in applications for places hoping that they will overlook the fact I work at a TAFE. Since this week with the funding cuts will they think "Will this person have a job at the end of this year to pay for this place?" All I can say is "I hope so!" What I thought would be a secure and hard working career has me now in a constant state of being on a roller coaster. Please make it stop!
Jennett, teacher, Box Hill
I write to you as somebody for whom TAFE has been extremely important for nearly 30 years of my life. As a child and young teenager I was bullied very badly at school (up in Queensland) and ended up leaving at just 13 years of age.
After several years of depression and isolation I did a couple of short courses at Benowa TAFE and then did my senior certificate there too, allowing me to go on to University. My first experiences at TAFE allowed me to regain confidence and rejoin the world a stronger person.
Years later, now in Melbourne, when my daughter was around 2 years old my relationship broke down and I was once again in a difficult and isolated situation. I went back to TAFE and did a diploma course that led to employment. By the time my daughter started school I was well on my way to being able to support her and myself without relying on sole parent benefits. Again TAFE provided a life line that I sorely needed.
For the past 12 years I have been teaching in TAFE and have loved the opportunity to assist other people facing barriers of all kinds in their pursuit of education an training. TAFE is truly an emotional subject to me for these reasons.
I do not think my job is immediately under threat due to the budget, even though we will be hard pressed and may lose some staff members from our area. My main grief is that I fear that the great public good provide by TAFE over so many years will be lost to many in the future. I honestly believe that the private sector RTOs cannot deliver an equally supportive and accessible environment for those who need it most. I say in all honesty that if my job was lost but the quality of Tafe as a public resource was not diminished I would be far happier than if my job was saved and TAFE compromised.
It is my hope that there will be wide spread dismay from the community and that it is clearly communicated to the Government resulting in a fresh look at these measures. Even in difficult times surely we can save this vital public resource.
Gabrielle Hodson, teacher, Broadmeadows
I have worked at GippsTAFE for 25 years in the adult basic education and VCE programs. Over this time I have witnessed the cutbacks to our programs and staffing.
As I live in the community I teach, I have worked with many students whose lives have been transformed by studying at TAFE. The current Eligibility Criteria has prevented many adults in this area from attending our VCE programs because of paying full fees.This barrier prevents people from changing direction and fulfilling a dream they may not have been able to earlier because of financial reasons. Offering assistance as VET fee help is not an attractive consideration - not another debt!
One of my neighbours who's in her early thirties wanted to do a nursing course but was not able to afford the fees as she was Ineligible having done a diploma in law administration 10 years ago. Instead she studied an aged care course at GippsTAFE as a way into the Div 2 nursing course - she finished the aged care course and is working in a local nursing home - now she is now studying the nursing course through her work - travelling to Melbourne to a private provider. She can't study at her local TAFE. This is one small example of many illustrating the barriers placed for adults wanting to return to study.
The idea presented to TAFE staff of 'funding contestibility' of opening up competition as offering 'consumers more choice' is an insult to the integrity of our TAFE work - we can see through this 'veiled' government rhetoric - it is all about money, not quality of education and training.
Persephone Minglis, teacher, LaTrobe Valley
I enrolled in 2010 in a TAE course with Kangan TAFE which since lead to work as a teacher instructing people with disabilities in the workplace. I enrolled just before the enormous fee hikes that followed in 2011 which would have precluded me from study as at the time I had little income and was supporting (as I am now) two pre-school age children.
I have a useful job I love as a result of training which has now become inaccessibly expensive.
Daniel Diesendorf, teacher, Coburg
I am shocked! My blind, autistic and epileptic son went to Box Hill Tafe to study an Advanced Diploma in Music Performance. http://www.theage.com.au/national/playing-on-in-a-life-rudely-interrupted-20090508-ay0n.html
With these cuts, he could not have done what he has done.
Victorian kids need TAFE.
Debra Duncan, parent, Melbourne
I am a 30 year old female RMIT TAFE student studying Electronics Engineering.
I have studied for some time at universities both here and in New Zealand but decided to study at TAFE because I wanted practical hands-on training that would get me a career.
In my experience the teachers are committed and passionate, the fellow students respectful and engaged and the overall experience fulfilling.
I am disgusted by the attacks from the Bailleu governments on public education. A cut of 22% in base funding is inhumane! TAFE is already recovering from the 300 jobs lost in October. Private Providers get three times as much funding as TAFE, that is unjust!
TAFE is vital to our community. TAFE is one of the main ways workers retrain, and students get introduced to higher education. The cuts must be stopped!
Anita Rolfe, student, Melbourne
I have worked and taught at NMIT for 23 years in the performing arts area and love the place. We are very proud of the work we have done over the years to promote music and musicians in the Australian Music Industry. Many of our students have gone on to work in all aspects of the music and teaching professions. Performing Arts NMIT has a great reputation as an Institute and has a staff, resources, experience and structure that no private provider could come anywhere near approaching. As usual Governments have no vision of the future and the role that education plays in the health of our nation.
David Wayman, teacher, NMIT
Thanks Ted. NOT.I completed an Advanced Certificate in Vet Nursing 11 years ago. Top of my class. I worked too hard in this low paying industry for too long before realising it was never going to meet my needs. Now I'm an adult with a family to support and would like to 're-skill' into a high demand area (like the government suggests) HACS/Aged care your want me to pay a fortune, while you happily subsidise teenagers with no life skills, work experience or financial pressures. Being lower middle class, married to a working husband, and ineligable for Austudy or a healthcare card you thing I can afford this. You decision WILL NOT encourage people to re-skill. Watch out kids - you only get one choice now.
Anonymous, LaTrobe Valley
Centrelink force TAFE FOR ALL, study then force up Tafe fees, thousands for a course, advertise scholarship START UP, then dont pay it to 90 percent of students...TAFE NOT PAID....it. Fine print FORCED STUDY and no help. Tafe fees in Victoria were once cheap. NOW they HAVE RISEN. This is JUST another ploy for THE government to GRAB with both hands, FEES taxes and FORCE. Advertise they are giving, but NOT GIVE to most. Kids cannot afford the fees, but have to go on Centrelink. ...