The Dog’s Bollocks

Truth is like a dog’s bollocks – pretty obvious if you care to look.

Howard’s tech colleges Flagship in the doldrums

Late last year I posted an analysis of Howard’s ‘vision’ for Technical Colleges. “Both the Tafe and the ATC will be delivering essentially the same programs to the same client base. There will be expensive duplication of facilities and capital works (the TAFE is in the middle of an extensive building and renovation program) and no doubt, many of the staff for the ATC will be poached from the TAFE.” From The Age today:

THE Federal Government’s flagship technical colleges are costing up to $25,000 a student after sluggish enrolments and bureaucratic delays.

During the last election campaign the Government claimed that the colleges would “revolutionise vocational education and training” and help tackle the skills crisis.

But almost three years and hundreds of millions of dollars later, there are still only a handful of students enrolled in each of the six Victorian institutions.

Estimates given to The Age show that the colleges are costing an average of $25,000 for each student per year, at least double the $9500 to $12,000 spent training the average technical student. State Skills Minister Jacinta Allan said the same funding would provide an extra 8000 Victorian TAFE places.

“This isn’t money that isn’t going into education, it’s going into setting up a duplicate system, a duplicate bureaucracy, that has no advantage to any students,” she said.

While still thin on details, Rudd’s plan for technical training in schools has merit. Most secondary colleges have already embarked on this path through Vocational Education and Training in Schools. Rudd’s plan would see up to $1 million provided to improve facilities for technical training in individual schools. Hopefully, the final policy will include provision for essential staff to ensure that school tech programs are deliverable and up to scratch.

TAFE Directors’ Australia executive director Martin Riordan said similar schemes in Europe had shown that, to be successful, schools had to collaborate with skills institutes.

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry said the proposed trade centres in schools might create an alternative pathway for young people.

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Filed under: Economics, Education, Politics

One Response

  1. John S. says:

    My former high school was opened to take the students who’d been left high and dry by the closure of tech schools. Rudd’s idea will be perfect for it.

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