Owners of local automotive body builder and repairer businesses met at Wetherill Park TAFE.

Employers concerned about TAFE closure

Terry Keeley
TAFE Organiser

Employers in the automotive body builders and repairers industry are concerned about the impact the closure of the automotive manufacturing (vehicle building) section at Wetherill Park TAFE will have on their businesses.

With the NSW Government’s Smart and Skilled policy looming, South Western Sydney Institute proposes to close the state-of-the-art workshop, which underwent a major renovation in 2009, and shift training to Granville TAFE. Two out of the four permanent teaching staff positions will be deleted.

Employers voiced their concerns at a meeting at Wetherill Park TAFE on May 16.

Those who provide automotive body building and repairs for heavy vehicles including semi-trailer and bus chassis are worried that the proposed closure will put their businesses in jeopardy and could impact on public safety.

Wetherill Park TAFE apprentices have had hands-on experience with heavy vehicles but there is no access for heavy vehicles to Granville TAFE.

One employer said a broad skill set allowed adaptability on the factory floor and with that broader knowledge base came greater public safety.

The employers resolved to write to Education Minister Adrian Piccoli; the Institute Director; and the Engineering, Automotive and Manufacturing Faculty Director to raise their concerns.