||Issue No. 247||19 November 2004|
In Defence of Jeff
Interview: The Reich Stuff
Economics: Crime and Punishment
Environment: Beyond The Wedge
International: The End Of The Lucky Country
Safety: Tests Fail Tests
Politics: Labo(u)r Day
Human Rights: Arabian Lights
History: Labour's Titan
Review: Foxy Fiasco
Poetry: Then I Saw The Light
The Locker Room
Shawly we’ve heard enough
Decline of The American Empire
Corporates Gobble Apprentices
The move, which would put competency skills into the hands of big business, has been labelled a "thinly veiled attempt to privatise training".
Unions have revealed that the plan to establish the "Australian Technical Colleges" would involve schools being set up by tender; workers employed an AWAs and no union involvement on the campuses.
The colleges would exist alongside the existing TAFE system, duplicating scarce resources, according to Phil Bradley from the NSW TAFE Teachers Federation.
"TAFE could provide this training if it was not starved of billions since the Howard Government came to power," says Bradley. "There has been a 25% cut per student in real terms over the last five years."
Government figures show that over 50,000 people were turned away from TAFE last year because of funding shortages. This does not take into account others that did not even apply because of fee rises.
Bradley also slammed a plan by the Business Council of Australia, the Australian Industry Group, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the National Farmers Federation to set up the "Institute of Trade Skills Excellence".
The Institute is seen as a move by big business to provide accreditation, especially since the current body overseeing trade accreditation, the Australian National Training Authority is being abolished from July 1 2005.
Even small business and private providers are up in arms over the Federal government move, with the Australian Council of Private Education and Training slamming the Institute proposal.
"This will create a narrow competency base for the short term needs of big business," says Bradley.
Unions are currently preparing a response to the Federal government's Australian Technical Colleges proposal.
"We have reason to be concerned given the track record of the Federal government," says Unions NSW assistant secretary Mark Lennon. "Given that with their efforts we have ended up with the current skills shortage."
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