Posted on 16. Sep, 2011 in News

The Baillieu Government has abandoned students and providers in Victoria’s skills and training sector, Shadow Minister for Higher Education and Skills Steve Herbert said today.

Mr Herbert said there was confusion in the higher education, skills and training sector following the Ballieu Government’s $48 million cut to the Victoria Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) program.

Now Higher Education and Skills Minister Peter Hall has absolved himself in State Parliament of any responsibility for the program.

“Mr Hall denied responsibility and refused to answer questions from the Labor Opposition about VCAL funding, student enrolments numbers or the number of teachers assigned to the program,” Mr Herbert said.

“Mr Hall denied responsibility and refused to answer questions from members who raised serious concerns regarding VCAL.

“His response was ‘this matter does not fall within my portfolio responsibilities’.

“As the Minister, Mr Hall has responsibility for community adult education centres and TAFEs, particularly in the areas of education, training and skills pathway programs such as VCAL.

“About 20,000 VCAL students in Victoria participate in VCAL gaining significant training and skills and Mr Hall has abandoned each and every one of them.”

Mr Herbert said the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) Annual Report, tabled in Parliament this week, included glowing praise from one of the State’s most senior education public servants, chief executive John Firth.

“In his introduction, Mr Firth reported 86.9 per cent of VCAL students in 2010 were participating in further education, training or work and said it was ‘an outstanding achievement’. His statement
demonstrates the importance of VCAL,” he said.

“The VCAA report also found student participation in VCAL had increased and nine new providers had signed up to expand the program in 2012.

“The Baillieu Government has already cut $481 million from the education budget.

“It’s time Mr Baillieu reinstated funding for VCAL.”


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