Rethink Smart and Skilled

Maxine Sharkey
Assistant General Secretary
(Post School Education)

A six-month delay to implementation of the O’Farrell Government’s Smart and Skilled policy provides further opportunity to campaign for its reconsideration.

Smart and Skilled is now scheduled to start on January 1, 2015.

Implementation of the policy, as proposed, is not inevitable.

Many community groups, teachers and students have great concerns about the funding decisions wrapped up within the Smart and Skilled policy and, as more people hear of the proposal, the concern grows. The Stop TAFE Cuts campaign is gaining traction in the community.

The Government should seek further advice from the profession about how to enhance the TAFE system.

Please lobby your MP and the Minister about the shortcomings (see sidepanel) of the policy.

In addition, discuss the impact the policy will have on local communities and economies with local government councillors. Ask them to seek support for a resolution that asks the O’Farrell Government to provide adequate funding, direct to TAFE.

Educate local employers about the impact Smart and Skilled will have on their industry and encourage them to lobby their MP about reviewing the policy.

If you haven’t already, please register your concern at www.stopTAFEcuts.com.au and ‘like’ the Facebook page “Invest in TAFE”. This is a great way to keep up to date with campaign activities and events near you and to view the photos of rallies, forums and street fairs our supporters have attended.

Shortcomings

Under Smart and Skilled, now due for implementation in January 2015, the public TAFE system would be dramatically weakened. The community of NSW is facing the privatisation of its TAFE system with costs being shifted to students who will pay much higher fees to access vocational education and training.