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Oct 31, 2012

LeadWest’s member local governments and Victoria University have all provided valuable input into the report focusing upon the region-wide social impacts of the Victorian Government’s TAFE cuts.

The report was published on LeadWest’s website in early October and over subsequent weeks it generated much local media interest.

Key findings in the report include:

  • Melbourne’s west has experienced the highest enrolment growth in Victoria at all qualification levels.
  • Unemployment runs high in parts of Melbourne’s west and is particularly high amongst people born in non-English speaking countries (10.6% unemployment).
  • Foundation training offered through Vocational Education and Training providers, such as Victoria University, is a key enabler for people of non-English speaking background to gain skills and employment.
  • In 2011, Victoria University delivered the largest number of government-funded contact hours of any TAFE provider in Victoria.
  • Total reduction in TAFE funding through Victoria University is now projected to be in the vicinity of $40 million.
  • The loss of funding as a percentage of TAFE is greater in Melbourne’s west than in other regions.
  • There is much less funding for TAFE delivery to support the needs of disadvantaged and lower skilled populations.
  • The TAFE and ACE provider share in Melbourne’s west is already the lowest in Victoria.
  • Private RTOs are gaining a greater overall share of training in Melbourne’s west and now have the highest share of the Victorian Government funded training market in all of Victoria.
  • Private RTO activity was responsible for the unsustainable pressure placed on the Victorian Government’s budget allocations for Vocational Education and Training, whilst the policy changes result in TAFEs bearing the brunt of budget cuts.
  • The costs of Vocational Education and Training are likely to rise as caps on fees charged to students have been removed.

The report provides valuable evidence to support the advocacy campaign associated with this important issue. LeadWest will continue to highlight the shortcomings of the Victoria Government’s TAFE cuts and in doing so joins the overwhelming majority of local MPs, Victoria University and other regional stakeholders, particularly businesses and students and their families that are concerned about the quality of training provided by private RTOs.

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