Ministerial Statement - TAFE SA


The well-documented issues at TAFE SA under the former government's oversight are further emphasised by the TAFE SA Annual Report 2017-18, which I have tabled today as required by the act. I draw members' attention to the extent of underperformance against the majority of its key performance measures for the 2017-18 financial year, including an end-of-year deficit of $16.3 million, despite government funding of over $246 million, and the underdelivery of 2.1 million training hours, paid for by the government through its funding allocation.

These unsatisfactory outcomes have been intensified by the difficult operating conditions that TAFE SA faced due to the impact of the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) 2017 review findings, which no doubt impacted on enrolment figures.

Earlier this week, I updated the house on the 2018 ASQA interim report that has now been provided to TAFE SA and, as I noted, there is a significant improvement over the previous ASQA audit findings. The 2018 interim report represents an enormous step forward from last year, but it also highlights there is still more work to be done. Today, I would like to update the house on further work this government is undertaking to enable TAFE SA to complete its journey of recovery from the position in which it was left by the former government.

This government is determined to provide the best possible oversight, support and strategic direction to the TAFE SA organisation. Today marks a major milestone in the achievement of key aspects of governance reform for the organisation with the tabling of the TAFE SA Ministerial Charter. The TAFE SA Ministerial Charter for 2018-19 signals the government's expectations of TAFE SA. We expect that TAFE SA will:

deliver quality government-funded VET services that meet the economic and social needs of South Australia;

support the development of a competitive market for VET services;

strengthen VET and schools activity in support of the government's policy objectives;

deliver higher education programs, as well as educational programs and services to international students residing in South Australia; and

provide a financial return to government on any fee for service activities.

In addition to the Ministerial Charter, the Performance Statement 2018-19 has been finalised and provided to TAFE SA.

I also wish to inform the house of the appointment of further board directors to the new TAFE SA Board, approved by His Excellency the Governor, earlier today. I am pleased to announce the appointment of Ms Jo Denley, Ms Judy Curran, Dr Jen Cleary and Mr Andrew Marshall to the TAFE SA Board of Directors commencing on 12 November 2018.

The Hon. S.S. Marshall interjecting:

The Hon. J.A.W. GARDNER: No relation. Ms Denley has been a TAFE SA Board director since 1 November 2012 and has contributed greatly to quality improvements in TAFE SA over the past year in particular. She is a professional and experienced business adviser and independent board director with strong management and leadership skills. She is highly experienced in human resources and risk management, and has a depth of understanding of the TAFE sector.

Ms Curran has extensive executive experience across a wide range of assisted health and community services. As group chief executive of the Can:Do Group and chief executive of SCOSA, Ms Curran has overseen major organisational change, she has highly developed corporate governance skills and has led cultural change within complex organisations.

Dr Cleary has extensive expertise and knowledge of rural, regional and remote social and economic development. She has a background spanning vocational and higher education, regional, rural and remote research development, social services and social policy, and is currently the CEO of Centacare Catholic Country SA.

Mr Marshall is managing director of his own construction company and provides expert advice to the university sector on course curriculum. He is actively involved in various educational, professional and industry bodies associated with the construction industry. Mr Marshall understands the importance of workforce development and the value of trade training to the small and medium-sized business sector.

They will join Ms Jacqui McGill, Mr Sam Scammell and Mr Craig Fowler, who were appointed to the board on 15 October 2018. Today, the Governor also appointed Ms Jacqui McGill as the chair of the new TAFE Board commencing 3 December 2018. I thank the directors of the interim board: Mr Rick Persse, as the chair; Mr John Chapman; Ms Tammie Pribanic; Mr Tim Goodes; Ms Jo Denley; and Ms Lucinda Byers for their tireless commitment. Four members of the interim board will continue until their terms concludes on 31 December 2018, in addition to Ms Denley who is ongoing.

Once the four interim board members' terms expire, the government will give consideration as to whether or not further appointments are necessary. The board comprised individuals with outstanding skills and the right mix of experiences and expertise to effectively oversee TAFE SA, monitor its performance and drive the transformation that is needed.

Now that the new board is announced, I am also pleased to announce that the recruitment process for the chief executive of TAFE SA will commence from tomorrow. This marks a series of further important steps in delivering our transformation of TAFE SA and the fresh start for which this organisation has been longing.