UnionsWA today presented at hearings for the Senate Education and Employment References Committee Inquiry into Technical and Further Education in Australia.
Meredith Hammat, Secretary UnionsWA said:
“Privatisation of TAFE will mean poorer training, higher course fees and fewer trade apprentices.
“Privatisation doesn’t save money and there’s less accountability while profit, not good training, becomes the bottom line.
“Over the past five years in WA the number of trade apprentices in construction has fallen by 3,600 and automotive and engineering trade apprentices are down by 400.
“So business tries to secure skilled labour through temporary migration and households struggle to find a tradie.
“While there have been more trainees doing lower skill courses, the amount on average funded for places has been falling over the past decade, down from $18.88 per hour in 2003 to $14.99 in 2012.
“Less funding for lower skill courses is not the path towards secure jobs or a strong economy.
The UnionsWA submission is available here and at page 3 provides the data and sources for the apprentice numbers quoted above.
The submission by the Australian Education Union to the Inquiry is available here and includes, at page 14, the funding figures. This is available upon request.