Greens TAFE spokesperson, Dawn Walker joined local teachers outside Quirindi TAFE to criticise the Liberal-National Party’s plans to close the TAFE campus and replace practical skills training with an online shopfront.
“The National Party have been working hard to spruke their new ‘Connected Learning Centres’, but closing TAFE campuses and replacing face-to-face skills training with cheap, online modules is their real agenda.
“The community deserve a proper and well-resourced TAFE campus here in Quirindi, not a tacky shop-front with a few computer terminals that is many times smaller than the campus.
“The National Party need to come clean and explain how locals will get practical training, whether it be in welding, animal management or as a barista, through computer terminals.
“The idea that the local community can simply take-on the responsibility of skills training, like Liverpool Plains Mayor, Andrew Hope recently suggested is farcical. As a small business operator myself, I know it’s not viable for a small business to act in the place of qualified teachers.
“Local educators I’ve spoken to at Quirindi are alarmed this once-thriving TAFE campus will be closed down, sold off and replaced with a small internet cafe, which will have educational impacts on local students who will now lose out on hands-on skills training.
“I’ve already visited the first TAFE shopfront in Dapto, near Wollongong where a once-thriving TAFE campus with 650 students has been replaced with a pop-up shopfront with no library, no toilets and minimal support for students.
“Regional communities should be very concerned about this Government’s ongoing attempts to undermine our public TAFE system and it’s shameful that the National Party are allowing their Liberal Party masters to de-skill regional NSW” said Dawn Walker MP.