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Victorian Auditor Says TAFE is World Class

Today’s Auditor-General’s report Tertiary Education and Other Entities:Results of the 2012 Audits shows that Victoria’s TAFE institutes are in a leading position to provide Victorians with the training needed to continue on their journey as a world class, highly skilled workforce.

Minister for Higher Education and Skills Peter Hall said the report showedthat Victoria’s 14 stand-alone TAFEs were in a strong financial position
and together generated a surplus of $58.5 million in 2012.

“Strong and viable TAFE providers are an essential part of the system and the future is bright for the TAFE in Victoria,” Mr Hall said.

“The report confirms that State Government funding remains the largest revenue component for TAFEs and direct government funding to our TAFEs has
increased each year we’ve been in government.

“In Labor’s last year in office, TAFEs received $542 million, yet in 2011 we provided $627 million and last year that increased to $643 million – a
19 per cent increase since the Victorian Coalition came to government.

“In March this year, the Coalition Government announced a further $200 million injection over four years into TAFEs to support innovation,
collaboration, structural reform and business transformation to ensure the ongoing financial sustainability of TAFE institutes.

“This funding, along with providing TAFEs with a commercial objective and more professional Boards, will help improve their ability to self-fund
asset replacement and renewal.

“The previous Labor Government created a training system that was unsustainable and which was blowing the budget out by hundreds of millions
of dollars each year.

“Our reforms have refocused Victoria’s training system over the last year and have put the system back on track to be sustainable and to actually
deliver courses that lead to jobs.

“The Auditor-General’s report assessed 10 of the 14 TAFEs as a medium financial sustainability risk in 2012. This is primarily due to historic
issues around self-financing and capital replacement in TAFEs,” Mr Hall said.

The Victorian Coalition Government was aware of this issue and is moving to fix it through giving TAFE institutes greater control of their assets by
transferring property titles, allowing TAFE institutes to re-invest the proceeds from sales, and by working towards more flexible financial arrangements.

As outlined in the Next Steps for Refocusing Vocational Training in Victoria – Supporting a Modern Workforce, the Victorian Coalition Government will also:

•  reduce the regulatory burden on TAFE institutes through streamlined reporting requirements and by more clearly defining roles and   responsibilities of TAFE institutes and the Department;
•  allow TAFE institutes to have more control over workplace relations; •  modernise the institutes’ constitutions and supply commercial objectives for TAFE institutes to provide a clearer understanding of
Government’s expectations;
•  remove the restriction on TAFE institutes being registered as Group raining Organisations; and
•  reclassify the TAFE operations of dual-sector universities to bring  them into line with other universities and reduce their reporting requirements.

“I am pleased VAGO found that Parliament can have confidence in the adequacy of financial and performance reporting and the internal controls of Victoria’s TAFE institutes,” Mr Hall said.