TAFE South Western Sydney Institute (SWSi) plans to sack 52 per cent of its teachers in engineer and automotive manufacturing, a document obtained by the Greens says.
But the institute says a consolidation of courses at either the Granville or Miller college will leave it more than 26 teaching positions and one of the largest training capabilities of the state’s TAFE network.
Greens NSW MP John Kaye said the loss of engineering skills at local TAFE colleges would undermine any opportunities for recovery in the manufacturing sector in south west Sydney.
‘‘The document admits that there is a direct line between the O’Farrell government’s competitive funding model and the staff cuts in engineering and manufacturing,’’ Dr Kaye said.
‘‘Smart and Skilled will always respond to short-term fluctuations in student demand by shedding staff during the downturns.
‘‘For a sectors like manufacturing that are highly cyclical, every time the international economy goes off the boil, critical staff expertise will be lost permanently.’’
A spokesman for TAFE SWSi said staff, industry and community feedback would be taken into account during the review of the delivery of automotive and related courses.
‘‘There has been a 25 per cent reduction in student enrolments in these programs over the past four years reflecting the decline in employment in the manufacturing sector in the region,’’ he said.
‘‘The proposed consolidation means we are able to provide more flexible programs to service industry as class sizes can be maximised and a greater range of specialists training options can be provided.
‘‘The number of full-time teaching and head teacher positions will exceed 26 positions which makes the SWSi engineering training capability still one of the largest in TAFE NSW.’’