Greens Senator and higher education spokesperson Lee Rhiannon has called on the government to guarantee that public vocational education training (VET) will be prioritised in the government's skills funding package, to be announced in detail later today.
"The government should commit to putting public VET providers, such as TAFE in NSW, front and centre in the funding package to get the maximum long term value from the investment", said Senator Rhiannon.
When I arrived in the federal parliament back in July 2011 I was told that the Estimates process was probably the best thing about the Senate. “Democracy in action” is how some describe this exhaustive process whereby Senators can ask endless questions of Ministers and senior public servants.
Having just finished my second week of Estimate hearings I do think they are excellent, although frustrating at times. Some Ministers and their bureaucrats are adept at side stepping the questions we pose. But then the challenge is with us to ask the right questions.
Committee Stage, Education Services for Overseas Students Legislation Amendment (Tuition Protection Service and Other Measures) Bill 2011, Education Services for Overseas Students (Registration Charges) Amendment (Tuition Protection Service) Bill 2011, Education Services for Overseas Students (TPS Levies) Bill 2011
Opening up the vocational education sector to private providers has increased costs for students and undermined the quality of the public vocational education sector Greens MP and higher education spokesperson Lee Rhiannon said today.
The Minister for Tertiary Education and Skills Chris Evans must learn from the Victorian experience and actively monitor and rein in private vocational course providers that take advantage of new HECS-style loan arrangements to hike up fees, said Greens Senator and higher education spokesperson Lee Rhiannon.
“Whilst introducing HECS-style loans and government subsidised places will remove a barrier to entry for some students, the best way for the Gillard government to skill up the workforce is to reinvest in the TAFE system”, said Senator Rhiannon.