Oct 1, 2004

Howard’s plan to destroy public TAFE


MEDIA RELEASE: Anthony Albanese – 1 October 2004

Mr Howard’s proposal to create an Institute for Trade Skill Excellence is part of an ideologically agenda that will result in confusing duplication and the inevitable destruction of TAFE.

Mr Howard asserted that the Institute is necessary to ensure our vocational education and training sector is “industry led” and employers have input into the design and delivery of training packages.

However, when the Liberal Senators considered current “industry consultation arrangements” as part of their response to the Senate’s 2003 Skills Inquiry they concluded:

“[Howard] Government senators note that the revised national industry arrangements are matters for ANTA [Australian National Training Authority]. Since ANTA appears to be satisfied with the new arrangements, then there would appear to be little point in outside observers suggesting that other arrangements would be preferable.”

Source: Government Senators’ Report, p 217

So what does Mr Howard go and propose? Spend $18.3 million setting up a ‘big business’ bureaucracy that will duplicate exactly what the Australian National Training authority is already doing. It must also be remembered that the business community is strongly represented on the ANTA board.

Mr Howard’s Institute for Trade Skill Excellence is simply an audacious attempt to undermine ANTA and by doing so, federal-state cooperation and our world-class public TAFE system.

Mr Howard has a plan to destroy our world-class public TAFE system. Labor has a plan to invest an extra $88.4 million in TAFE to create an additional 20,000 places.