Politics

Labor to reinstate axed TAFE courses


TAFE courses axed under the former Marshall Government – prompting union accusations of “political misogyny” – will be reinstated by the new Labor administration, with classes in aged and disability care and childhood care and education to return to Adelaide campuses.

Then-Education Union state president Lara Golding told a parliamentary committee last year that women were most impacted by recent subsidy cuts in areas including childcare, aged care and disability services, because they constitute the majority of the workforce in those areas.

“I would say that the Marshall Government TAFE course cuts unfairly target women,” Golding said at the time.

Premier Peter Malinauskas has today announced that funding for various care sector courses has been reinstated, with classes to re-open to students for the second semester.

Labor said TAFE SA had been advised by the outgoing Liberal Government in February of further course cuts, with 14 to be removed including dental assisting, health administration, food processing, building and construction and education support.

“These further cuts will not proceed,” the Premier said today.

“The return of these care sector courses to metropolitan TAFE SA delivery will give greater access to training and build on the existing range of training market opportunities.

“As we continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, we must increase the availability of training to develop the skills our community will need for the future.”

He said “the demand for skilled workers in the aged care and disability care sectors has increased considerably recently and is projected to be in-demand going forward”.

“Increasing opportunities to undertake training will go a long way to alleviate skill shortages in these high-demand sectors.”

Education, Training and Skills Minister Blair Boyer said the reintroduction of the courses delivers on an election commitment to return them to TAFE campuses.

TAFE SA director of health, community and foundation skills Karren Raper said in a statement that staff and stakeholders “welcomed the opportunity to reintroduce these courses for metropolitan delivery”.

“I know TAFE staff are particularly thrilled to expand delivery opportunities in these in-demand industries,” she said.

Former Premier Steven Marshall said last year that some courses had been cut because “our preference is to provide training opportunities that are linked to jobs in South Australia” – and arguing that his government had provided “a massive increase in the TAFE budget” and restored the Australian Skills Quality Authority accreditation that had been lost under the previous Labor administration.

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