Save Our Services, a group led by UnionsWA on behalf of public sector unions and community members, has today launched the first phase in a new campaign opposing TAFE fee increases, course reductions and funding cuts. An online video, advertising and targeting of emails to MPs will feature strongly in the lead-up to the Mid-Year Financial Statement due shortly and rumoured to include further funding cuts and cost increases.
Meredith Hammat, UnionsWA Secretary said:
“Youth unemployment is rising, temporary overseas labour is growing, yet TAFE fees are increasing and course options falling.
“That’s the real story that our campaign will address.
“There is no plan for a skilled future for our kids.
“We have seen that TAFE is politically potent, playing a significant part in the defeat of the first term Liberal Government in Victoria.
“Since the election of the Barnett Government, the State Government has been undermining TAFE by cutting funding - by more than $45 million this financial year alone - and increasing student fees as much as 300%.
“Little wonder that over the past five years in WA the number of trade apprentices in construction has fallen by 3,600 and automotive and engineering trade apprentices are down by 400.
“Youth unemployment has hit 9.9%in WA and is above 14% in Perth’s southern suburbs.
“Fewer students at TAFE means more skills shortages. We need proper funding and lower fees for TAFE students in WA.
“The Barnett Government’s Mid-Year Financial Statement is due before Christmas, and our MP email effort, advertising and video are designed to fire the first shot in an on-going campaign for WA to commit to a plan for job opportunities and skills in the future, rather than more cuts.
Meredith Hammat is available for comment.
The video can be found here:
Youth unemployment rate details:
WA - http://lmip.gov.au/default.aspx?LMIP/LFR_SAFOUR/WA
Perth Southern suburbs - http://lmip.gov.au/default.aspx?LMIP/LFR_SAFOUR/WA/GreaterPerth/PerthSouthWest