The Productivity Commissions report on Vocational Education Training looked at all the States and where WA ranked.
Over the last few years State funding into the TAFE sector decreased and a slow divestment away from training funding occurred from the Commonwealth.
The Government’s recurrent funding into Vocational Educational Training totaled $5.8 billion in 2016, decreasing 6.7 per cent from recent years.
Despite 2017 funding remaining constant, the commonwealth has now withdrawn funding out of general training, creating big holes within the individual college budgets.
Alison Xamon, Greens MP, explained that enrolment figures into TAFE courses have decreased, whilst attendance fees have steadily increased.
“The commonwealth government has walked away from funding general training and they have not been prepared to fill that hole,” she said.
“Negotiations as I understand have not succeeded with all the states, and so here within WA all the individual TAFE colleges they’ve had to re-do their budgets to lower amounts.”
“… I think it’s fair enough to be able to make the correlation that simply TAFE is not becoming affordable for people.”
The State Government made an election promise to freeze TAFE fees, but it won’t be enough to encourage people to enroll, with affordability now being a major factor.
Investments into the training sector creates demand for particular employment which might not be necessary now, but will be important in the looming future.