Minister Close has to go

The Weatherill Labor Government’s habit of using TAFE SA as a dumping ground for Labor hacks is a significant contributing to the chaos engulfing the organisation.

“The fact Labor has used TAFE to reward former Labor politicians, staffers and union officials with no regard for their capacity to deliver vocational training demonstrates the callous disregard they have held for the importance of the skills and training sector,” said Shadow Minister Education John Gardner.

The current TAFE SA Board has former Federal Labor politician Annette Hurley and ex CFEMU official Trevor Smith as Directors.

In 2014 former Weatherill staffer Jadynne Harvey was appointed Director of Policy and Strategy at TAFE SA before he was dismissed by TAFE SA Chief Executive in May 2016.

“The Labor Party treats the public sector as a retirement village for Labor mates and as a consequence important, highly paid positions are handed on a platter to individuals who lack the requisite qualifications for the job,” said Mr Gardner.

“The results of poor appointment practices are evident in the accreditation scandal where TAFE SA failed to deliver the most basic of requirements – a valid training certificate.

“Minister Close claims the failures of TAFE SA are nothing to do with her yet it was the Weatherill Government that choose to starve funds from highly regarded training providers when they directed ninety per cent of available public funding to TAFE SA.

 “The decision to fund TAFE SA to the almost total exclusion of private and not-for-profit training providers wreaked havoc with the industry, and has seen the loss of capacity across the sector.  Most recently the well-regarded RTO run by the Master Builders had to close its doors – just months ago.

“The irony is that TAFE’s loss of accreditation of a number of courses means that these private and not-for-profit providers will now be needed to help ensure that courses are available in areas of skills need for school leaders and mature age workers seeking retraining next year.

“The Weatherill Government needs to work closely with the private sector providers to help the students achieve the qualifications they are entitled too as soon as possible.

“Minister Close needs to accept responsibility for this scandalous failure of Weatherill Government policy.”