TAFE

TAFE members angry at enrolment debacle

February 01, 2022

As the NSW Government continues to cut TAFE teacher and support staff jobs, it is now stopping thousands of TAFE students enrolling in courses to start this month.

The Government’s decade of TAFE cuts has either deleted or made redundant the jobs of 6298 teachers and related employees since December 2012. In late 2021, another TAFE restructure deleted more student support and administrative positions, which are vital to enrol students for courses this year.

Hundreds of teachers joined Federation’s state-wide union meetings to voice their anger and frustration at the dysfunctional enrolment process now inflicted on TAFE students and teachers.

The flawed process has been exacerbated by TAFE’s failure to plan appropriately for more than 200 transitioning courses, meaning delays to offers on the TAFE NSW website, which is how many students find course information and enrol.

Teachers in many sections have been contacting employers, working with student lists from training plans and pursuing other avenues to attempt to solve the problem.

They are determined to get students to class by working around the enrolment problems, in some cases going back to paper rolls.

Members have voiced their frustration with comments such as:

  • “We have a situation where teachers will probably have to do the enrolments on top of everything else.”
  • “Students can no longer contact the campus direct, all calls redirect to a 131 number. Have heard in some regions there is a long wait on the 131 number.”
  • “A student rang 131 to enrol in a Cert IV. Customer service did not know who the HT or section was and put her through to a counsellor! I wonder how many students we have lost due to this confusion.”
  • “My potential students are being referred to other RTOs because our courses are not approved and online, so customer support officers and apprenticeship support officers are telling them that we don't offer this qual.”

The TAFE Acting Managing Director Steve Brady has no meaningful response to the enrolment chaos.

In his weekly newsletter on Friday, 28 January, Mr Brady was more interested in a new 2022 strategic plan, at the same time as teachers are unable to plan for classes and students are battling to enrol and access online portals needed to commence study.

He stated: “There are more people than ever showing an interest in TAFE NSW, with a 21 per cent year-on-year increase in website sessions and a 53 per cent growth in leads via our enrolment portal compared to this time last year.

Comments such as this illustrate the lack of educational leadership in NSW TAFE. At this time of year students should be enrolled and on class lists ready to start their course in February, not “showing interest”.

Unfortunately, but not unexpectedly, new Minister for Skills and Training Alister Henskens has made no public comment.

Federation members will continue to advocate for their students enrolment for the 2022 TAFE year. We must continue the campaign to rebuild TAFE to ensure students receive the education and skills they need. Join the campaign www.rebuildwithTAFE.com.au.

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Authorised by Maxine Sharkey, General Secretary, NSW Teachers Federation, 23-33 Mary St. Surry Hills NSW 2010

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© New South Wales Teachers Federation. All Rights Reserved.

Authorised by Maxine Sharkey, General Secretary, NSW Teachers Federation, 23-33 Mary St. Surry Hills NSW 2010

Privacy Policy