Minister for Skills, Senator Chris Evans, today met with New South Wales TAFE teachers who are facing the sack as a result of the O'Farrell State Government's cuts to TAFE.
More than 800 jobs will be axed as a result of the NSW State Liberal Government's decision to cut TAFE funding, slash jobs and increase student fees.
Senator Evans said the loss of TAFE teachers across the state will mean reduced access to skills and training for people in NSW.
"These teaching positions are being cut in every TAFE across every region in NSW. That will result in some courses being lost entirely," Senator Evans said.
"The teachers I met with today are dedicated staff with years of experience and they will be a huge loss to the state's training system.
"TAFE staff are known to go above and beyond their day-to-day roles - providing essential support to students, especially as they progress through the education system."
On top of these staff cuts, NSW TAFE students face fee increases in 2013.
"At the very time we need to grow Australia's skills base, the NSW Liberal State Government is implementing policies that could see a reduction in training opportunities, including for those living in regional areas," Senator Evans said.
"It is short sighted of the NSW Government to undermine TAFEs at a time when the State's economy needs more skilled workers.
"TAFEs are essential public institutions which the Gillard Government values highly.
"They are on the frontline when it comes to giving people in NSW the skills they need to get a job and are essential in delivering training for students in our regions and for disadvantaged students."
Senator Evans said the NSW Government was not alone in taking the axe to its TAFE system.
"The Baillieu Government has slashed $300 million in funding from the Victorian TAFE system and we are now seeing campus and course closures across the State," he said.
"The Liberal National Party in Queensland has announced the closure of 13 TAFE sites and will consider closing a further 25 sites next year, denying thousands of Queenslanders the chance to access training.
"These policies are simply a dress rehearsal for what Tony Abbott is planning for the tertiary education sector."
The Gillard Government is putting almost $2.3 billion into the New South Wales training system over the next five years.
Media Contact: Minister's Office 02 6277 7580