TAFE NSW has announced the next step in the One TAFE reform — moving from 10 TAFE institutes competing with each other to a central structure designed to reduce duplication of administration and back-of-house roles. TAFE manging director Jon Black stated the reform is “focused on building a more efficient, commercial and modernised One TAFE structure”.
The process commenced on 1 March this year with the 10 previously autonomous TAFE institutes dissolved and replaced with five TAFE regions. Ten institute directors were replaced with five regional general managers and a general manager of digital. One TAFE is designed to remove administrative, finance, marketing and other roles from local TAFEs and centralise functions.
The institute-based faculty structure was replaced with SkillsPoints, which transfer course development and assessment validation roles from institutes to industry sector-specific hubs to develop and maintain courses aligned with nationally accredited courses. SkillsPoints will be located at Newcastle (Innovative Manufacturing, Robotics and Science); Griffith (Agribusiness); Tamworth (Career Pathways, Aboriginal Languages and Employability Skills); Queanbeyan (Health, Wellbeing and Community Services); Dubbo (Supply Chain and eCommerce); Coffs Harbour (Tourism and Experience Services in Metro SkillsPoints); Parramatta (Creative and Design Ideation); Mount Druitt (Infrastructure, Energy and Construction); Ultimo (Technology and Business Services). A digital hub will be based at Armidale.
Federation has continued to support the concept of moving away from autonomous institutes to a centralised TAFE model in order for more funding to go to back to students and learning.
On 4 August, the TAFE Teachers Association state council was addressed by the NSW Director of People and Safety Susie George and Head of Workplace Relations Donna Wilcox. Members raised critical issues with these TAFE representatives in a respectful but passionate discussion.
Members were concerned about cuts to specialist equity services such as multicultural and outreach programs, and the removal of head teaching positions. The functions of outreach and multicultural special project coordinators have been left out of the proposed restructure and members are concerned this could result in the loss of delivery to the community and severely affect the prospects of the most disadvantaged people and communities.
Members were deeply concerned the proposed regional TAFE organisational charts appear to dramatically cut head teaching positions. The union has responded immediately to TAFE TA council’s request that Federation fund additional officers to respond to the announcements on the restructure of the largest group within One TAFE. Federation will continue to campaign to stop TAFE cuts.
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