Greens MP Dawn Walker to tour New England protesting against new TAFE Connected Learning Centres

Greens MP Dawn Walker says Connected Learning Centres will be the death of TAFE.

PROTESTING: Greens MP Dawn Walker will visit the region this week to protest against TAFE's new Connected Learning Centres.

PROTESTING: Greens MP Dawn Walker will visit the region this week to protest against TAFE's new Connected Learning Centres.

Ms Walker said digital hubs, currently being rolled out in Glen Innes and Tenterfield with headquarters in Armidale, would be a blow to vocational education.

“The National Party [wants] to sell-off our TAFE campuses, cut teaching staff and replace face-to-face learning with online modules in tacky shopfronts,” she said.

But Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall said the Glen Innes CLC would in fact see full-time teaching jobs and courses double.

Currently there are two full-time and 26 part-time teachers at the Glen Innes campus, with full-time positions set to double to four by November.

The campus currently offers five courses including foundation skills, community services, engineering and related technologies, information technology and business administration.

Mr Marshall said with the opening of the CLC, courses offered would double.

“After the CLC is opened they will offer all of those plus early childhood, health and disability, agri-business management, aboriginal languages and building and construction,” he said.

But despite the statistics, Ms Walker continued to slam the government’s progress.

“It’s embarrassing quite frankly, and regional communities should be very alarmed about this government’s ongoing attempts to undermine our public TAFE system,” she said.

Ms Walker will visit TAFE campuses in Glen Innes, Tenterfield, Murwillumbah and Quirindi this week as part of her ‘Teachers not Terminals’ tour.

“[The CLCs] will have a devastating impact on learning outcomes for many students, especially those requiring extra support services,” she said.

The digital headquarters in Armidale saw three new leadership positions become available in May.

“[This] will lead to further recruitment and more opportunities,” Mr Marshall told The Express in May.

Communities should be very alarmed about this government’s ongoing attempts to undermine our public TAFE system.

Dawn Walker, Greens MP
MP Adam Marshall with Megan Aitken and Lyn Rickard visiting the Armidale campus in May to officially launch the first wave of recruitment. Photo: Rachel Baxter.

MP Adam Marshall with Megan Aitken and Lyn Rickard visiting the Armidale campus in May to officially launch the first wave of recruitment. Photo: Rachel Baxter.