Tanya Pibersek has switched on the flashing neon sign that states “Labor will fund TAFE,” again. The Opposition education spokesperson regularly reminds us that while funding universities is important, TAFE, which she sometimes uses us a synonym for VET, needs more money.
She said it again yesterday;
“More and more young Australians will need a TAFE education or vocational education, and more and more older Australians will be retraining throughout their careers as their jobs change. So of course we need to continue to invest in university education and make it more available to more Australians, but we can’t let TAFE become the second cousin or the poor cousin of universities either. We need to make sure we have an excellent vocational education system too.”
If Labor in government pulls an emo* and takes growth money from universities to repair TAFE no one will be able to complain they weren’t warned.
Ms Plibersek will likely talk more about training from this morning, adding it to her portfolio in a shadow ministry shuffle yesterday. Senator Doug Cameron joins her, with TAFE included in his responsibilities for skills and apprenticeships.
(*To pull an Emo is to cut funding in one education system to support another, as Labor’s Craig Emerson did to universities to support Gonski Mk I in 2013).