“Where there is aTAFEnow, there will beTAFEin the future –TAFENSW is not leaving town,” saidMinister for Skills John Barilaroofthe state government’s restructure of TAFE NSW.
The restructure of TAFE NSW will come with a review of assets but Mr Barilaro denied entire campuses would be cut despite falling enrolment and student numbers.
Data provided by the National Centre of Vocational Education Research showed a decrease in both enrolments and student numbers for Cowra and the region from2014 to2015.
The data reveals a28 per cent decrease from1685 students in 2014 to 1315 students in 2015and a 33 per cent decrease in enrolments from1975 enrolments in 2014 to 1485 enrolments in 2015.
Surrounding areas also suffered a decrease in student numbersand enrolments; with Forbes seeing a 43 per cent decrease from 1075 students in 2014 to 750 students in 2015 and a 62 per centdecrease in enrolments from 1310 enrolments in 2014 to 810 enrolments in 2015.
Grenfell saw an 11 per cent decrease in student numbers from 405 students in 2014 to 365 students in 2015 and a 10 per cent decrease in enrolments from 485 enrolments in 2014 to 440 enrolments in 2015.
Parkes and its surrounds saw a 31 per cent decrease in student numbers from 1955 students in 2014 to 1485 students in 2015 and a 42 per cent decrease in enrolments from 2425 enrolments in 2014 to 1705 enrolments in 2015.
Mr Barilaro said the restructure would increase the reach of TAFE throughout the state and lead to more enrolments.
“TAFE NSW has been the heart of our regional communities for 125 years. By making more effective use of TAFE’s asset base, and investing in new facilities in regional areas, and embracing technology, we will increase the reach of TAFE NSW throughout the State.
“What the restructure means is that the time has come for TAFE NSW to take charge of its own future.
“If TAFE wants to attract the modern student TAFE needs modern facilities and we need to be offering courses that students demand, which will lead to more enrolments and more teaching staff in the future,”Mr Barilaro said.
Mr Barilaro said some staff may be “effected” by the restructure but that “for every dollar in efficiencies found that dollar will remain in the skills budget that means more opportunities for young people to train.”
“The new structure will see the creation of a new, single TAFE NSW and end the divisions between separate, competing institutes.
“The reforms will reduce overheads and invest more in frontline teaching services.
“Savings achieved through this reform will be reinvested in the NSW Skills budget to train more people in the skills they need,” he said.
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