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Issue #1597      June 12, 2013

A TAFE Charter

1. TAFE is a vital educational institution

TAFE plays a key role in workforce development and planning, is responsive to individual and industry demand, allowing governments to respond to the projected needs of the economy and society and to plan for the short, medium and long term.

TAFE works in partnership with large and small business to assist them in workforce planning and development and meeting the need for innovation and technological development.

To ensure that TAFE continues to meet the growing and changing needs of industry and the economy more broadly:

  • TAFE Institutes must receive guaranteed funding as educational institutions;
  • TAFE institutes should be funded to develop new and innovative training solutions to meet the needs of future students, changing technologies and industry innovation;
  • Uncapped, “demand” driven funding mechanisms will not allow government to respond to the projected needs of the economy and society. The system requires a planned model that ensures the needs of industry and community are met;
  • Student support services, counselling (career and personal), and disability support, libraries etc. should continue to be funded and well resourced.

2. TAFE plays a key role in community building

TAFE plays a key role in community building both economically and socially — most obviously in regional areas, but also in metropolitan areas. TAFE promotes social cohesion and economic development.

To ensure that both economic and social community building continues there should be:

  • No increases to student fees and charges
  • No course closures
  • No campus closures.

3. TAFE plays a key role in second chance education

TAFE plays a key role in second chance education supporting individuals to enable them to access employment for the first time, to build pathways into further and higher education, to return to the workforce after raising families and to transition into other vocations when structural adjustment in the economy results in unemployment.

To ensure that TAFE continues to play a key role in second chance education there should be:

  • Access to government subsidised qualifications over their lifetime;
  • No restriction on an individual’s capacity to access government subsidised training.

4. TAFE nurtures vocations

TAFE plays a key role in building the capacity of vocational education teachers and developing innovative pedagogy and a high skilled teaching and administrative workforce. TAFE nurtures vocations, building vocational and academic knowledge, building research capacity in a public system that allows the benefits to be accessed by all.

To ensure that TAFE continues to play a key role in the vocational and academic knowledge base there should be:

  • Adequate funding and support for research and professional development in TAFE;
  • Adequate funding and support for initial and specialist vocational teaching qualifications;
  • Access to professional development in specialist industry area, and support for return to industry programs;
  • Decent working conditions, including security of employment.

Australian Education Union  

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