In recent days it has been reported that the Corowa TAFE is up for sale – http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-09-15/tafe-sales/6776590 A number of callers phoned through to ABC Radio complaining about the empty TAFE classrooms and the poor quality of training that is delivered by private training organisations. Matthew was quick to correct such claims, noting that some of the best quality training that Audit Express has seen delivered is that delivered by many RTOs that are members of the Australian Council of Private Education and Training (ACPET).
In a market driven system like the Australian VET sector, the consumer – either the student or employer has a choice. They chose their training provider either a TAFE or Private RTO based on their needs. TAFEs need to engage with industry and the wider community to ensure that their training programs meet the needs of their clients if they are to see their classrooms filled.
As a tax payer it pains me to know that our hard earned tax payer dollars are going towards paying the wages of teachers that are not teaching any students, and towards paying the electricity bills of TAFEs with empty classes. We call on the Victorian and NSW Ministers to consider adopting the QLD Reform Action Plan http://the-scan.com/2013/06/11/qld-opens-tafe-assets-to-private-rtos/
which provides access to public training facilities for private providers as well as the public TAFE institutes.
Matthew Dale is the Director of Audit Express and former adviser to the Victorian Minister for Higher Education and Skills.