Leaked document spells disaster for TAFE enrolments

06 September 2017

Enrolments at TAFE are in freefall according to leaked documents that show double digit falls across the board in the 12 months to mid-July.

Overall total enrolments at TAFE are down by 11.2 per cent to 404,456 in the year to 16 July 2017, the internal TAFE document leaked to the NSW Opposition shows (see attached).

The document also reveals enrolments for the Western Sydney region are down by over 17%.

The figures paint a damning picture of the impact of the Liberal-National Government’s program of cuts to courses and staff and directly contradict the Government’s claim that enrolments are on the way back up. 

At Macquarie Fields and Ingleburn, courses in carpentry and wall and floor tiling have had their hours slashed by 264 hours due to relentless cuts at the hands of the Liberals.

Under sustained questioning at a Budget Estimates Hearing last Thursday about the extent of the enrolment crisis Deputy Premier and Minister for Skills John Barilaro was unable to comment on the figures and doggedly stuck to his story that enrolments were on the rise.

He admitted that the way in which enrolments are counted has changed but refused to answer any detailed question about the TAFE document.

Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Skills Prue Car

“Minister Barilaro isn’t financially illiterate – he can tell the difference between a plus and a minus, he just doesn’t want to confront the truth that fewer people are signing up for TAFE because of his failed policies.

“John Barilaro needs to explain to students and parents right across NSW today why his Government has deliberately hidden the extent of the enrolment crisis in our TAFE colleges.

“With skills shortages at crisis levels across many industries, now more than ever we need to invest in public vocational education to train the workforce of the future.

“This leak shows our young people are leaving TAFE colleges in droves and it’s no wonder – the Liberals and Nationals just don’t believe in TAFE.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Macquarie Fields Anoulack Chanthivong:

“Investment in TAFE is an investment in jobs for south west Sydney. The Liberal Government’s cuts to TAFE are shameful.

“At a time when our community is experiencing rapid population growth, we need more TAFE places and more money invested into TAFE to provide the training and skills for our workforce now and into the future.”