TAFE

TAFEs in by-election seats hit by enrolment glitches, cuts

February 08, 2022
Rob Long
TAFE Organiser

Students attempting to enrol in TAFE courses in the state by-election seats of Bega and Monaro have been besieged by problems, battling online glitches while courses have been cut.

Federation members and students are angry that TAFE courses at Bega, Moruya, Cooma and Queanbeyan have been cut or will be commencing later than originally planned due to online and admin delays.

Voters go to the polls this Saturday in the Bega and Monaro by-elections, after the resignations of sitting government MPs Andrew Constance and John Barilaro, respectively.

Students attempting to enrol in courses at their local college are experiencing ongoing problems using the new digital enrolment process on the TAFE website and when accessing support staff and call centres.

Federation has been told the TAFE website is unreliable and the enrolment call centre is under enormous stress due to long wait times, with teachers at the local colleges appearing best placed to resolve students’ enrolment problems.

Local TAFE teachers have reported problems for students enrolling in Tertiary Preparation Certificates (TPC), Literacy and Numeracy, Business Services and other courses not advertised on the TAFE website.

At Moruya, there are strong enrolments in Carpentry, but Child Studies and Maritime courses are only available to study online. In previous years, there have been four Adult Literacy and Numeracy courses across Batemans Bay, Moruya and Narooma. There will only be only one course at Moruya in 2022.

In Bega, students are having problems enrolling in Business Studies, Adult Literacy and Numeracy, and Community Services. Teachers are working to ensure the Beauty Therapy course continues in Bega, even though the new Trades Hub does not provide a classroom for the course. Unfortunately, due to difficulties recruiting teachers, Horticulture will not run in Bega this semester. Barrack Street TAFE College has been decommissioned and students and teachers are now crammed into the Connected Learning Centre and Trades Hub. Federation will continue the five-year campaign to stop the sale of Bega TAFE.

In Cooma, Federation has been advised that, for the first time in many years, there are no TPC enrolments and there are low enrolments in Tourism and Hospitality. There are no student service staff and the new Customer Service Building – opened by former deputy premier John Barilaro in 2015 – is closed. Local Cooma students can’t get reliable information on the TAFE website and there are no local student support staff to assist with enrolments.

In Queanbeyan, members have advised there are problems placing teachers for TPC courses as they have not replaced permanent teachers upon their retirement. There are presently no permanent teachers at Queanbeyan TAFE. In a situation similar to that in Cooma, there are no Student Service staff and the Customer Service Building (opened by Mr Barilaro in 2016) is closed three days a week.

TAFE NSW continues to provides high-quality vocational education to develop work skills for our students. This enrolment debacle is clearly unacceptable and needs to be resolved as a matter of urgency. Members are encouraged to join the Rebuild With TAFE campaign for guaranteed funding for TAFE, to stop the privatisation of vocational education and dismantle the NSW Smart and Skilled policy.

www.rebuildwithtafe.org.au/

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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

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