NSW TAFE: over-spent but optimistic

A learned reader has had a good-look at NSW TAFE’s annual report, released Friday.

Among all the corporate-gush the report manages to miss emphasising a major achievement, just not a good one – total enrolments that were 570 000 in 2013 are now 474 000.

And then there is money, or the loss of it. TAFE lost $239m last financial year, $186m more than budgeted. This was due to a $65m revenue shortfall, “primarily due” to the Commonwealth changing the student loan system. Employee expenses were 7 per cent ($91m) up, largely due to moving from ten independent institutions to the One TAFE system.

As to staff, there were 400 fewer teachers last year than in 2013 (down to 5 458) and 300 more support staff (to 4568).

But fear not – all will be well, well, well-ish. TAFE says there will be a $60m loss in 2018-19, but revenues will rocket, with “sales of goods and services”, which sounds like student fees to CMM, increasing by 25 per cent or so, to $570m.

“How are they proposing to do this? It goes against all trends of declining income since One TAFE started two years ago. A very brave projection as Sir Humphrey might say,” the learned reader ruefully remarks.


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