Proposed Training Cuts
The Victorian Government is planning to slash even more from TAFE funding each year. The move will see education and training programs removed and whole facilities closed. Critics label the cuts as retrograde and a concern for employers, as well-trained employees will become scarce.
Filling the Skills Pool
The government believes the cutbacks are necessary as current tertiary funding policies have led to mass growth in “courses that lead nowhere”, producing an over-supply of people trained in areas such as fitness and aromatherapy. In a mere four years, enrolments in fitness training course increased by 1955 per cent, while retail service enrolments jumped 2700 per cent.
Effects to Education
Unions and TAFE providers slam the move, which will rip millions from the sector, as the biggest mistake in Victoria’s education history. While Melbourne intuitions are removing up to 100 training courses from their curriculum, the effects are felt most by regional areas. TAFE is a vital part of the social, cultural and economic fabric of the community. Well over 500 teaching and support staff in regional Victoria are impacted by the cut and 190 employees in Bendigo are estimated to lose their jobs.
Training and Assessment Courses
These decisions bring to light the importance education and training programs, like the Cert IV Training and Assessment, in creating a skilled labour force for Australia.
We constantly hear about the nation’s lack of skills. An uneducated society is detrimental to employment opportunities. The large percentage of unemployment is blamed on the fact that the available skills in the labour pool do not align with available jobs. General lack of qualification and workplace training has created recruitment difficulties for over two-thirds of business.
Understandably, the Victorian government is under fire after a $300 million cut back to Vocational Education and Training funding. With emergency meetings called today, the move is pinned as a retrograde step which will lead to widespread job loss in the future.
The development of universal skills, including online training, first aid and training and assessment, is critical to job creation. The modern job market is becoming increasingly susceptible to threats. Globalisation promotes off shoring of jobs and leads to a lack in hiring. There is also the prominent trend of temp workers. Usually restricted to administration and processing positions, temp employees now represent a large percentage of human resource managers, accountants and engineers.
That being said, Australia’s VET system should be encouraging youth, due to replace retiring generations, to study Certificate III, IV and Diploma qualifications in high growth industries. Addressing the underlying issues will overcome the tremendous mismatch our market faces.
The Gillard Government has revealed its $15.6 billion investment into skills and training. Set to be implemented over the proceeding four years, the investment focuses on expansion of the Vocational and Education Training (VET) sector.
With over 1.7 million students enrolled in the public VET system alone, funding for programs is critical to the livelihood of the nation and imperative in delivering the high quality training needed to meet the skill demands of the future. As enrolment to post-secondary education is sluggish and current subsidization minimal, the proposed reforms aim to educate a workplace for tomorrow.
Development will improve access to and quality of training, seeing $1.75 billion injected into programs. While funding addresses the nation’s ever present skill shortage, it also allows Australians a guaranteed placement to gain skills through Certificate III and IV qualifications, like the Cert IV Training and Assessment and access to HECS style loans for Diploma and Advanced Diploma students.
This sudden move to support jobs and invest in workplace training is in response to the growing demand of high level skills, upward of 2.5 times the rate of unskilled jobs. The reforms will be vital factor, influencing businesses and individuals alike.
Funding will entrust the Australian Skills Quality Authority to oversee and regulate the VET sector responding to public concerns about the quality of VET training. The funding will also establish Australian Skills Centres of Excellence in partnership with industry and training organisations. These centres will create a benchmark for practice and performance, paving the way for future jobs.
Overall this funding brightens Australia’s future, increasing the number of students enrolled training courses will see it set to become an economic powerhouse due to the highly skilled workforce.