Bendigo TAFE Announcement - Important Information
Monday 25 June 2012
Changes to staffing and courses at Bendigo TAFE were announced today after an exhaustive review of the impact of recent State Budget funding cuts.
Changes including a reduction in staff numbers, increasing teaching hours, closure of some courses and cuts to overheads are necessary to put Bendigo TAFE on a viable path for the future, according to Bendigo TAFE chief executive officer Maria Simpson.
Ms Simpson said: “These are very difficult decisions and we certainly regret that redundancies of our people are both necessary and unavoidable. The changes to fees and subsidies in the state budget have a full year impact on Bendigo TAFE of around $9million a year – about a quarter of our income. They exacerbate an already difficult budgetary position that we were working to address.
“To build a viable organisation, we can’t continue to operate as we are. We must cut direct and indirect costs throughout our operations, close almost a quarter of our courses and change our work practices. Some changes must happen immediately, others by the end of 2012.”
Ms Simpson said Bendigo TAFE’s obligations to current students would not be compromised.
“We are committed to the continued delivery of services to all enrolled students. Where students have enrolled for courses that may not continue in 2013 we will assist them to find a place with another training provider.”
Changes announced today include:
- Enrolments will cease for 39 non-viable courses, with some of these courses closing immediately from semester two in 2012 and most from 2013.
- A total of 25 management, support and teaching staff will be made redundant in July. It is anticipated that up to a further 75 people will be made redundant by December.
- Measures to improve productivity will be introduced in all areas including teachers increasing teaching hours wherever possible in 2012 and 2013.
- The removal of government subsidies and funding reductions means that, if nothing were to change with current practice, of the remaining 97 courses, only 35 would meet their cost of delivery and, of those, only nine would exceed their cost and provide some margin to reinvest in new training equipment and growth.
- Overhead costs will be reduced by a range of measures including consolidating into fewer buildings where possible and seeking to turn available space into income opportunities.
Ms Simpson called on employers and potential students to support Bendigo TAFE by making it their educator and trainer of choice.
“We have a long history of delivering high quality vocational educational training opportunities for Bendigo and the region. We will continue to work with government, employers and other education providers to explore opportunities that would open up or extend courses that are needed by the community and have the potential to increase the viability of Bendigo TAFE,” she said.