12 April 2012
Victoria now national measure of bad funding system
On March 28, I was fortunate to be part a group of four delegates from the Victorian Branch of the AEU, as part of a larger delegation from the other states.
We were there to lobby politicians and to push for changes to the current vocational education and training (VET) funding model being used in Victoria.
The other states there were desperate not to end up with the "Victorian system".
Yes, we are now the national measure of a bad system in VET funding.
The fully contestable system of VET funding in this state has seen the rise of private RTOs delivering at times sub-standard training to the students of Victoria. In many cases using their one chance at a subidised training place.
The AEU hosted a reception at Parliament House that evening and we got to chat with a range of MPs and Senators.
In the lead up to the reception, a group of delegates met with Senator Doug Cameron. His tip was to tell the human stories and not just quote figures.
This advice was used the next day at Parliament House where we met Greens Senator and higher education spokesperson Lee Rhiannon and Rob Mitchell (MHR). Our stories about students who are losing out by receiving sub-standard training from dodgy RTOs or missing out on their one chance at subsidised places raised some eyebrows.
The state of the public VET sector in Victoria is a disgrace. We need to tell the stories of students who are missing out by not having a sound and properly funded TAFE.
We can not afford to fly under the public's radar on this issue. We all need to step up and tell the government that a quality public VET sector is important and to invest in TAFE.
— Posted by Phillip Smith, teacher, Gippsland Institute of TAFE