Women in the TAFE firing line warns government
The Victorian TAFE Association (VTA) has published a preliminary study that shows that women will be unfairly targeted by the forthcoming TAFE cuts by the Victorian Government.
Federal Minister for Tertiary Education, Senator Chris Evans, said that the $300 million cuts are aimed unfairly towards fields predominately populated be female students.
The preliminary study compares gender enrolment in 20 of the most popular TAFE courses that will be impacted by the funding cuts. Courses with high female enrolments are set to be cut by up to 85 per cent, compared with 6 per cent of male-dominated courses.
According to the new study, women also stand to be financially disadvantaged by the cuts with TAFE fees set to skyrocket for courses popular with females. One of the bigger TAFEs in the state is looking to increase course fees by up to 66 per cent next year, an $800 increase.
"The Victorian Government's slashes to funding will force TAFEs to hike up fees making it harder for women to access training and enter or re-enter the workforce," Senator Evans said.
"Courses like hospitality, tourism, children's services, community services and business administration tend to attract high numbers of women - and will be the courses hardest hit by Premier Baillieu's short-sighted budget cuts.
The Victorian Government denied that any changes in funding would disproportionately affect women, with State Skills Minister Peter Hall accusing the VTA of misleading the public.
“I categorically reject the VTA’s assertion that Victorian women engaged in vocational education will be worse off under the recent funding reforms. The TAFE Association has looked at 10 courses undertaken mostly by women and in at least some cases, lied about the impact of the recent reforms,” Mr Hall said.
“Funding for high level certificates in children’s services and community services have actually increased by up to as much as eight per cent. The TAFE Association’s statements today amount to lies.”