Rebuild TAFE: restore TAFE funding

'Public funding must be redirected to restore the national TAFE system as a trusted VET provider. The continuing financial collapse of private training colleges must force the Government to abandon its failed experiment in privatizing vocational education and training (VET).' Read the media release

Letter to Federal MPs

'It is time that Simon Birmingham, as Minister for Education, acted to prevent further deep erosion of public confidence in VET provision. Restricting access by some private colleges to VET student loans will not restore confidence by itself. The Government must make a commitment to properly funding TAFE as the public provider so that it can rebuild its quality delivery of VET courses across Australia along with student support services.' Read the letter

Another one bites the dust

Another private provider collapses – Careers Australia. 15,000 students stranded, 1000 teaching jobs lost. When will it all stop and the government come to their senses and support TAFE again.

Trish Doyle's Tip

The best way to protect Australian jobs is to give young people an excellent education in a public TAFE, set them up for a productive and rewarding career and get rid of the criminal element in the private, so-called "education" sector, who repeatedly rip-off taxpayers and leave students in the lurch.

Read more of Trish's May 30 'Status of TAFE' speech in the New South Wales Parliament Legislative Assembly

Party Statements

Greens Reponse
"The Australian Greens are committed to ensuring TAFE is restored to its central place in the VET system."

Labor Repsonse
'We need skills for a strong economy: we need to ensure we can draw out the talents of every citizen by properly strengthening TAFE'

The Glenn Lazarus Team recognises the importance of federally funding TAFE and ensuring the public provider is able to deliver quality vocational education and training.

Coalition Response
Australia's future depends on how well we can continue to grow and shape our economy. Read More

Media Releases

National TAFE Day 2016

Who Owns TAFE

A Future for TAFE

TCA Spokespersons

Jozefa SobskiJozefa Sobski:
profile & archive of speeches & letters

Linda SimonsLinda Simon:
Profile & speeches

Jon Black is the Managing Director of TAFE NSW

The Hon John Barilaro MP is Minister for Regional Development, Skills and Small Business - which includes TAFE NSW

Kate Ellis Shadow Minister for Vocational Education

Marrickville Council Leads the way

Marrickville Council resolution re TAFE

Senate Inquiry into TAFE pdf

IPART response pdf

NSW Parliamentary Economic Development Committee

"The Committee finds that TAFE NSW is the backbone of vocational education and training in NSW and that to achieve the state’s economic and social priorities it is vital that TAFE NSW receives appropriate and adequate funding."

To read full report pdf

Report on False Economies

Read the report from Centre for Policy Development. pdfIt is their series on False Economies. TAFE is referred to in the report where there is comparison of the work of TAFE and private RTOs.  

Enterprise Agreement Negotiations

TAFE NSW and AEU NSW Teachers Federation met on 21 July and 5 August in negotiations for a new enterprise agreement for TAFE teachers and related employees. more

TCA Letter to PM

'The Alliance has been particularly concerned at the impact of VET reforms on the quality and sustainability of TAFE Institutes across the country...' Read the letterpdf

Laughing Assassins Pleased with Scholarships

'Fees were raised for more than half of TAFE courses this year, with some reaching $10,000, under the NSW government's market reforms. The collapse of a new computer enrolment system meanwhile prevented thousands of students from enrolling.' Read more...




1962-1965 Petersham #Electrical apprenticeship. Now managing £5b oil rig construction North Sea

What we do

The TAFE Community Alliance campaigns for TAFE. It is open to teachers, educational staff, community members, industry members and others. Our immediate plans include:

point Raise funds for our campaign. If you would like to make a donation, you should make a direct debit: TAFE Comm Alliance, BSB: 012372, Account No: 2086 95147
point Create awareness of the effects of the competitive training market and loss of funding for TAFE
point Work with other groups interested in pursuing this campaign, including community groups, professional associations, industry groups, unions and political parties
point Provide case studies of TAFE's role in changing lives and the community
point Communicate with media and social networks

TCA is appalled that the Baird Government continues to take even more funding from TAFE, and increase student fees above already unreasonable rates. Fees are obviously going to keep increasing, making an entitlement model a joke. Contact your local State MP and protest

Shift in focus

Through Smart and Skilled NSW, the NSW Government has moved the focus of VET from education, quality educational infrastructure and meeting students’ needs to a business that primarily is concerned with the needs of employers, industry and private profit to the exclusion of the former. 

As part of its advocacy role, the Alliance sought a commitment from political parties in NSW prior to the last state elections, to ensure that TAFE should exist and be supported by government to provide quality training incorporating ongoing development of appropriate educational pedagogy.  The statement of commitment published by the TAFE Community Alliance said: “We expect a commitment to a statewide publicly-owned technical and further education system.  We expect this system to grow and flourish as it meets the priorities of educational, social and industry policy.  We do not expect this system to operate like a business to break even or make a profit, but a public education and training system serving society efficiently and providing value and quality for the public dollar.”

These are two opposite ends of the spectrum.

Jozefa Sobski Statement to Senate Inquirypdf

"The TCA views TAFE as a public education and training system for building a productive and skilled workforce and an inclusive and fair society."

TCA VFH Senate Submission

We want to put on record the damage that the wider application of VET FEE-HELP has made to the VET system, its providers and students. Submissionpdf

Why so long?

Why has it taken the Government and the ACCC so long to realise the money that was being ripped out of the system, and the students being taken for a ride?

The ABC reports the consumer watchdog targeting a second private training college, alleging it signed up vulnerable people — some with intellectual disabilities — and citing problems with the Government's VET FEE-HELP system.

TCA Letter to Minister Barilaro

'The TAFE Community Alliance welcomed both your freeze on TAFE fees and the reduction of fees for some pathways courses. ...' Read the letterpdf

Who we are

The TAFE Community Alliance is an advocacy and strategy group that recognises the central role of the public VET provider in the building of social, cultural and economic capacity of communities across NSW. The Alliance campaigns to maintain TAFE's central role in vocational education and training.

No matter who you are TAFE is open to everyone.

TAFE gives everyone a second chance, the opportunity to learn skills for employment and an opportunity to contribute to the community. If you are uncertain about your career or need more education and training; TAFE has always been there - affordable, accessible - providing great quality education and professional specialist student support. There is a TAFE College in every community across NSW.

Redesigning VET FEE-Help

The Government was warned years ago of the possible consequences of the introduction of VET FEEHelp without the proper regulations in place. A case in point is the issues raised by the TAFE Directors Australia 2011/12 National Charter for TAFE: “TDA asserts that until the new VET regulatory system is firmly in place, it is folly to provide open access to government training funds on the basis of demand alone. To do so invites a repetition of practices that occurred in the international market. The issue of the viability of the market in terms of the number of providers, the associated risks and the cost of regulating them has been ignored, to the detriment of Australia’s reputation.” Read More

The National Scandal

Whilst the TAFE Community Alliance welcomes the opportunity to participate in the discussion paper and to contribute to the options presented, we also want to put it clearly on the record that we are appalled at the national scandal that has been propagated through the implementation of VET FEE-HELP. It is a national scandal and we are surprised that governments have not acknowledged that it is so. $2.9 billion has been borrowed tofund VET FEE-HELP loans as of 2015, and the paper acknowledges that the Government does not expect a large proportion of these loans to be repaid. In saying this, the Government must also be acknowledging that a large proportion of these loans were inappropriately made.

Read more

John Kaye - TAFE Hero

Recently we lost a great man, a friend and a tireless campaigner for TAFE. The rallies will never seem the same without John at our side.

John Kaye TAFE hero

Bipartisan Catastrophe

"What started as a bipartisan Commonwealth strategy to privatise vocational education and training (VET) by enhancing skills through a dynamic competitive market, has ended with allegations of corruption and malfeasance. Worse than that, it has resulted in the deskilling of Australia and $3 billion in dubious VET loans, part of an estimated $13 billion blowout in all unrecoverable student loans to 2017."

Read more pdf

Government Report Endorses Labor TAFE Policy

The Turnbull Government’s own report on the review of the National Partnership Agreement on Skills Reform, released today, has proven that Labor’s National Partnership Agreement did require TAFE to be protected and also provided evidence that this has not been the case under the Abbott/ Turnbull Governments.

The TAFE plunder

How to lose $4 billion without even trying.

The federal government's botched vocational education and training scheme has cost taxpayers $6 billion. TAFEs, unable to compete with the private institutions, have been forced to close and thousands of teachers have lost their jobs. ReporterPaddy Manning investigates the rorting and the incompetence.



TAFEs shabby treatment

'The state government’s Smart and Skilled policy for vocational training is at the very least misname. It is discouraging would-be students from signing up to gain skills. Nothing smart about that, one would think. "


Opposition's Education Spokesman

David Harris, said the 2,000 job losses had led to bigger class sizes.

"Students are starting to suffer," he said.

"We're seeing problems with enrolment and supporting students in their learning.

"We're seeing hours having to be cut to deliver courses and we're seeing students not being able to have access to equipment."

Flaws of free-market thinking

Senator Simon Birmingham says the low completion rates are "absolutely unacceptable. See Letters to the editor: "Governments constantly call for more skilled workers, yet at the same time have cut the funding to TAFE so significantly, that it is just a shadow of its former self. Courses are being closed, hours cut and fees are also out of the reach of many Australians. Is this the sort of vocational education system we want in Australia?"

The state budget revealed 83,000 fewer students enrolled in 2015 than in 2012, despite a $2-billion investment this year.

Short sighted and damaging
School leavers vote with their feet
Ghost town campus

Students hit hard - TCA Repsonse

WAVE National Conference 2015

WAVE partnered with Manufacturing Skills Australia to hold its national conference entitled 'Leaders, teachers, learners, leavers:  Women in the Australian VET market'.