The NSW Greens have called for TAFE fees to be abolished in NSW following the Victorian Government’s decision to abolish fees for over 30 TAFE courses and 18 pre-apprenticeships in their 2018 budget.
“The Victorian Government have announced a bold plan that will save individual students thousands in course fees and address key skill shortages in that state by abolishing TAFE fees” said NSW Greens TAFE spokesperson, Dawn Walker.
“From January 2019, courses in everything from accounting and agriculture to concreting, construction and nursing will be free for Victorian students, while in NSW, students will continue to face unaffordable TAFE fees that have sky-rocketed under the Liberal-National Government.
“As our public vocational education provider, TAFE is the leader in skills training in Australia and essential to meeting the employment needs of the future. TAFE should be totally free, yet since the Liberal-Nationals came to power, we’ve seen funds to vocational education and training cut by $1.7 billion and course completion rates plummet by more than 50%, partly due to skyrocketing course fees.
“The Victorian Government’s decision to make TAFE courses free is costed at $172 million, which is only quarter of the cost of the NSW Government’s controversial relocation of the Powerhouse Museum, which is estimated to be $645 million. The argument that it would be too expensive to abolish TAFE fees at a time when NSW returned a budget surplus $5.7 billion 2016/2017 is pure nonsense.
“The Greens are calling on both the NSW Government and the NSW Labor Party to match Victoria’s lead and commit to making TAFE courses free for NSW students to help meet demand for key workers like mechanics, carpenters, plumbers, electricians and nurses.
“While the old parties have a history of defunding, cutting jobs and selling TAFE campuses, the Greens will continue to advocate for abolishing TAFE fees” said Dawn Walker MP.