A fresh start for TAFE

What we’ll do

If elected in March 2018, a Marshall Liberal Government will take immediate action to reform TAFE and give the organisation a fresh start.

We will dissolve the current TAFE Board and appoint a new one.

We will also:

  • implement a range of other critical and immediate improvements including new Board selection procedures and much more rigorous management performance reviews;
  • establish a fully contestable training system, requiring TAFE to compete on a fair basis with non-government, private and not-for-profit providers;
  • extend the terms of reference of the current TAFE Strategic Capability Review with an extended review to look at matters including legislative reform, improvements to quality assurance processes, income diversification, and whether TAFE SA facilities can be more fully utilised as public assets;
  • engage in new partnerships with non-government training providers – working together to deliver better training outcomes; and
  • work with the Commonwealth to improve approval processes for new and updated training courses.

This will ensure taxpayers get best value for money, students get the choice they deserve, and business and industry can invest in South Australia with confidence that they can count on a trained workforce with the right skills.

This policy will complement our other training initiatives including $100 million to create an additional 20,800 apprenticeships and traineeships and a new technical college to focus on training students for work in the defence industry.

Why we’re doing it

A strong training system, with a reputation for quality, is fundamental to a strong economy.

Job training must have the confidence of the students enrolling in it and the businesses relying on the skills they develop.

Regrettably, the reputation of TAFE SA and the South Australian training system has been trashed because of the mismanagement of the Weatherill Labor Government.

The Government’s failures over the past six years have been highlighted by the ‘Skills For All’ debacle and the ongoing TAFE SA scandal, with all sixteen randomly selected TAFE courses failing a recent skills quality audit. Only two of those courses have been re-instated so far.

As at February 2018, possible suspension hangs over the remaining qualifications and the national regulator has announced it will audit further courses in the coming months. Meanwhile, a thousand students, apprentices and trainees have just gone through Christmas with an uncertain future.

Our young people deserve better and addressing youth unemployment depends on a strong training sector.

That’s why we will ensure a fresh start for TAFE and the whole training sector.