The 2019 Victorian Government Budget was presented to state parliament and contains a number of significant commitments concerning vocational education and training and the public TAFE system.
Key Issues —
This year’s state budget continues the pattern over the past few years of the Victorian Government making a substantial investment in vocational education and training to meet the commitment to providing the state with a skilled workforce needed to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century
The Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia (ITECA) was invited to two high-level briefings on the budget outcomes. A summary of the budget can be downloaded below:
The government’s commitments include $180 million for TAFE and training, including $57 million to upgrade and rebuild TAFE facilities and campuses across the state, and $82.7 million for training places at TAFEs, the ‘Learn Locals’ initiative and independent training organisations.
2019 Victorian Government Budget Highlights ―
- $82.7 million to continue to support eligible students to access subsidised training and develop skills in the TAFE and independent system;
- $23.5 million culinary school at Geelong Gordon Institute;
- $20.0 million library and learning hub at South West TAFE Warrnambool;
- $2.5 million to build a health training facility in GOTAFE;
- $10.2 million for an integrated centre for sustainable Construction Technologies at Box Hill Institute;
- $0.5 million for Melbourne Polytechnic and Chisholm Institute to plan and design upgrades to their Collingwood and Frankston campuses;
- An additional $41.2 million for free TAFE places;
- $28.5 million to provide free TAFE for early childhood courses including the Diploma and Certificate III of Early Childhood Education and Care;
- $5.6 million to develop a suite of higher apprenticeships in construction and social services;
- $4.7 million for Apprenticeship Support Officers at TAFEs across Victoria;
- $7.2 million to upgrade facilities at agricultural colleges to provide additional training in shearing.
Although broadly supportive of the additional investment in vocational education and training, ITECA has advised the state government about the direction of the overall funds. In circumstances where 60% of students choose to study with an independent provider, ITECA has questioned whether the Victorian Government’s allocation of funds to the private sector represents the best investment of taxpayers’ funds.
Independent providers deliver the training that students want with satisfactions levels equal to public providers. ITECA is a strong proponent for a funding model where students should have choice in selecting the training provider that can best meet their needs. ITECA’s policy position is that students who choose to attend an independent training provider should receive the same support from governments as those students who attend a public provider. This will ensure that all students have equal opportunities to develop skills that are sought by employers.
ITECA’s ability to play a lead role in matters associated with this issue rests on the advice and guidance of individuals serving on the ITECA Victorian State Committee.
For more information on this issue please send an email to email@example.com or telephone 1300 421 017. Stay up to date via Twitter @ITECAust or via Facebook at www.facebook.com/ITECAust.
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