Wrongly blamed

Glenda Fisher, Woodend

Mary-Anne Thomas wrongly blames the Bailleau/Napthine Liberal government for the decline in the Victorian TAFE system and in particular accuses them of slashing funding by $1 billion dollars during their time in government (‘No credibility’, Opinions, August 14).
The real truth about the decline in the system post 2011 is solely down to the Brumby government taking a sledge hammer to the TAFE system in the dying days of their government.
Under their management private TAFE providers had the same access to funding as government TAFES.
The justification for this decision was that competition would be good for Vocational Education.
The impact on the existing TAFE system was never considered. Dodgy operators came into the system and laughed all the way to the bank. Public TAFES simple couldn’t compete. The budget set to cover four years of funding ran dry in two. In short the Liberal Govt inherited this mess when it came to office, they didn’t create it!
As for the free TAFE courses currently on offer this government actually needs to speak to someone with some in-depth knowledge of standards required in the vocational sector? Discussion with businesses at the coal face would also help. Cert 2 courses are readily available at years 10 and 11 in the secondary system and have been for nearly 20 years. These courses are considered to be introductory training and at a very low level. They certainly won’t give adults entry to their dream job. Cert 3 level is required at the very least.

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