Friday, 23 November 2012

Happy Thanksgiving: I'm thankful for TAFE!

Today is Thanksgiving in the United States, and there are so many things for which I am thankful. On the jewellery front, I'm thankful that the Advanced Diploma of Jewellery at NMIT will continue through 2013.

In other good news, Yesterday Victorian Labor leader Daniel Andrews promised to reinstate approximately $170 million of the $300 million  in funding cut from the Victorian TAFE sector by the Ballieu government this year if Labor wins the 2014 state election. This is the first promise by the opposition to reverse the funding cuts that have devastated the sector. Although the plan doesn't reinstate all funding, and it will be extremely difficult to reverse course and campus closures once they have occurred, it's high time that Labor recognised the need for reform and even small steps toward reinstating funding are good news for beleaguered Victorian TAFEs.  Labor has promised to reinstate funding for the community service obligations of TAFEs, and guarantee a government-subsidised place to any worker made redundant.

On Wednesday the Centre for Policy Development released a new paper entitled Valuing Skills: Why Vocational Training Matters, which has found that the TAFE sector is doing more to address Australia's skills shortages than private providers, that TAFE is the main provider of training outside metropolitan areas, and TAFE serves a disproportionate share of students with disabilities. The paper presents evidence that the VET sector (the largest sector of which is TAFE) confers substantial benefits to individuals, the economy, and society, and estimates that TAFEs provide a strong return on investment of government funding. Read a short summary or download the full paper to read more.

A well-written and informative article entitled The Dismal Future of Creative Arts Education was published the same day as last Friday's NSW protest against funding cuts to fine arts in TAFE on the ArtsHub website. Author David Williamson looks at why the arts education sector is under fire, even though the fine arts contribute over $30 billion a year to the GDP, more than agriculture, forestry and fishing combined. "Creativity has to be learned just like anything else," he says. "Our society needs artists, and artists need training."

Labor is listening, and the Centre for Policy Development is urging NSW to learn from Victoria how not to undertake reform. Keep up the pressure; keep up the fight!

And Happy Thanksgiving!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for these party photographs. I am also going to host a grand thanksgiving party at the best New York Event Venues. I’ll invite friends and family to this event. You know I will use pink theme for decorations.