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TAFE funding agreement: last chance for Kemp to act!

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  Australian Labor Party   National ALP

Kim Carr - TAFE Funding Agreement: Last Chance For Kemp To Act! Wednesday, 21 March 2001

TAFE Funding Agreement: Last Chance For Kemp To Act!

Kim Carr - Parliamentary Secretary for Education

Media Statement - 16 March 2001

Following an abortive meeting last December, vocational education and training Ministers are meeting in Canberra tomorrow in a last ditch attempt to reach agreement with the Commonwealth on funding arrangements for TAFE colleges and private training organisations.

"The funding arrangements for TAFE and vocational education for the next three tears must be finalised urgently" said Senator Carr, Labor's Parliamentary Secretary for Education and Manager of Opposition Business in the Senate. "Although it is already March, transitional arrangements for this year have yet to be finalised. The Australian National Training Agreement has expired and Dr Kemp has failed to reach an agreement with the States concerning the Commonwealth funding its share of anticipated growth."

"In his recent Innovation Statement the Prime Minister totally failed to acknowledge the critical role of TAFE in preparing Australians for the inevitable demands of a highly-skilled, internationally competitive economy," Senator Carr continued.

The Commonwealth's failure to acknowledge this role is doubly disappointing in the light of its refusal to offer adequate funds for a new ANTA agreement. The Commonwealth's refusal to fund its share of the agreement is preventing many Australian individuals and companies from tapping into the benefits of the innovative economy that the Prime Minister is attempting to promote.

"Previous attempts to reach an agreement have been frustrated by Dr Kemp's bullying tactics," Senator Carr said." Is it too much to expect that this time Dr Kemp will acknowledge the deleterious effects imposed by the Government's unsuccessful " growth through efficiencies " strategy and finally show a degree of leadership on this critical matter?"

Senator Carr pointed out that TAFE enrolments have increased this year across Australia,


although early signs point to a stall in the number of New Apprenticeship enrolments in line with the decline in economic activity. " It is time for the Commonwealth to address the needs of the entire vocational education system as well as acknowledging that TAFE meets a wide range of strategic educational needs, including adult literacy, adult retraining and the up-grading of skills and qualifications."

"This sector caters for 1.8 million Australians. It is time for this government to acknowledge the role of TAFE in innovation. But with growth rates in the sector currently running at up to 5% with no additional resources, it is only a matter of time before the current damage being done to the system becomes irreversible."


Authorised by Geoff Walsh, 19 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600.

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