Four GippsTAFE Warragul staff have lost their jobs and an early school leavers program has been cut ahead of the Victorian Government’s TAFE funding changes.
A spokesperson for GippsTAFE told The Warragul Citizen the Warragul campus’ Youth Development Unit will be suspended.
“The Youth Development Unit as a unit specialising in the provision of general education for young school leavers will cease,” the spokesperson said.
“We will no longer be offering VCAL or Certificate II in Education and Skills Development from there for the foreseeable future.”
“Four staff members from Warragul have been made redundant.”
GippsTAFE CEO Dr Peter Whitley says the cuts are a response to state budget changes.
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“This represents a difficult chapter in the Institute’s history but is a necessary response to the recent budget cuts announced by the State Government,” Dr Whitley said.
The cuts prompted Baw Baw Shire councillor Adam Tyson to move a motion lobbying the Victorian Government to reconsider the cuts.
“This is putting the Warragul campus under severe [stress], so much that it might have to close, and that’s not alarmist,” Cr Tyson said.
“Apprenticeships have become the top tier of funding, and that’s fine… but what that’s actually done is cascade down to the funding cuts of other courses.”
“Campuses such as Warragul that aren’t highly focused [on apprentices] have been gutted by this.”
The motion was passed unanimously at last week’s council meeting.
Narracan Liberal MP Gary Blackwood was contacted for comment on Thursday, but has not supplied a response to questions at time of publication.
Mr Blackwood has previously said the cuts “have become necessary” due to rising costs and funding will be directed to training in skill shortage areas.
“The reduction in subsidies will mean that $1.2 billion will be available this year which is still an increase of $300,000 on what was budgeted last year,” Mr Blackwood said.
Late last month Dr Whitley warned the campus could lose between 10 and 15 staff because of the cuts.
“Without being too specific about it, I imagine there will be between 10 and 15 staff that ultimately will be lost from Warragul,” Dr Whitley said.
“In Warragul, courses such as the community pharmacy will be cut, the businesses administration will be cut… we are talking that the diploma in business will be cut, [along with] the diploma in human management [and] the diploma in event management,” Dr Whitley said.
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