ATC- Skilling or Top Billing?

swb 20 November 2007 13

Is the Australian Technical College in Gungahlin a duplication of what already exists in the ACT? On Wednesday 14th November Gary Humphries unveiled his proposal to build a technical college on a vacant site in Gungahlin. He says that the ACT is in need of more institutions like these due to the skill shortage in Canberra and the surrounding region. In addition to this technical college another one will open up in Queanbeyan next year taking the total to 29 colleges around the country by the end of 2008. The number of Technical colleges will expand to 100 by 2017 with the Prime Minister’s recent election promise. These institutions are in anticipation of a growing demand for skilled workers.

Technical Colleges follow a Liberal election announcement in 2004 to allow Year 11 and 12 students to complete their Year 12 Certificate by combining study with structured training in a trade of the student’s choice. This scheme allows students to enter a School Based Apprenticeship while studying their Year 12 Certificate. These school-based apprentices usually finish Year 12 with a Certificate 111 in their chosen trade by the end of their study.

In comparison the Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd’s announcement as part of his ‘education revolution’ policy to put a technical centre in every Secondary School across the country. He claims this will provide better options for all students.

Are either of these policies going to fix the skills shortage or be a worthwhile option for young people and guarantee Australia’s economic future. I don’t think so. They are too expensive, and the money should be given to existing programs already offered by the ACT Government.

The ACT in particular has a unique school based apprenticeship system that partners with a range of education institutions including the Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT) and the Masters Builders Association (MBA). The Gungahlin Technical College is not needed?

It’s seems hard to believe that the federal government would waste taxpayers money to duplicate a system that works in the ACT. The ACT is the envy of the rest of Australia when it comes to apprenticeships.

So it seems logical the federal and ACT governments should work together and put our money where it will do the most good.

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13 Responses to ATC- Skilling or Top Billing?
Thumper Thumper 9:24 am 21 Nov 07

And think of the money to be made when sold to developers!

Mælinar Mælinar 8:55 am 21 Nov 07

(Hort School) 5 tables, a fence and a garden shed running at a loss ?

This is the ACT Government at work here…

Thumper Thumper 8:54 am 21 Nov 07

Not really pierce. The hort school is established, mature trees, etc, whereas Bruce is not (established as a hort school)

But you are correct in that it is all to do with saving money.

pierce pierce 8:34 am 21 Nov 07

From what I hear Thumper, the hort school campus costs too much to maintain and the courses are moving to the main one at Bruce.

Actually sounds like sensible management.

Thumper Thumper 8:22 am 21 Nov 07

BTW, I believe the TAFE campus over near the RSPCA (where the hort school is) is to close.

The ACT government. putting your hard earned tax dollars towards, well, I’m not sure….

boomacat boomacat 11:02 pm 20 Nov 07

Pathetic. I cannot believe that Howard and his crew are really intent on going through with this ridiculous duplication of the TAFE/CIT system, which already has all the infrastructure in place to deliver this kind of training, and could be doing a lot more of it if Howard had actually invested money in TAFE over the last 11 years rather than pouring it into pointless vote buying exercises such as this.

Troy, I note you will generously be giving $10 million dollars to 70 schools for trades skills, what a pity you didn’t pour some of the $2 billion the Coalition has spent on taxpayer funded Liberal advertising over the last 11 years into TAFE instead, what a great result we could have had.

ant ant 10:25 pm 20 Nov 07

Poor Humphries was out handing out scare cards about Rudd Chopping the Public Service! this morning as people turned up to work. He wasn’t getting much business, poor desperate bugger. He’s on the wrong side.

miz miz 9:52 pm 20 Nov 07

Well I can’t see the point of the ‘new’ tech colleges – when they have simultaneously been underfunding TAFE for years, then wonder why there aren’t enough skilled tradespeople. Alternatively, I note Kev is moving to draw retired tradies back in thru mentoring (on the kevin07 site).

TroyWilliams TroyWilliams 8:25 pm 20 Nov 07

When Gary and I visited Gungahlin for the announcement, it was to launch part of a broader program to establish 100 new Australian Technical Colleges across Australia. Australia made a big mistake 20 years ago by closing all the dedicated technical high schools around the country.

As part of our plan, the Coalition will create 30 new colleges from scratch as well as offer 70 existing state or independent secondary schools $10 million each to convert their existing school from an academic focus into a technical college, offering students a year 12 certificate and a school-based apprenticeship. The program would benefit new schools as the ATC infrastructure could be established in parallel with the construction of the new school.

Labor’s alternative is to simply attach a ‘trades training centre’ classroom to each school, with no timetable for establishment, no specification of curriculum and no benchmarks for expected outcomes.

If elected, Labor has confirmed it will scrap Australian Technical Colleges. It is opposed to specialised education. This is short sighted, will not deliver the skills needed by Australian businesses and poses a risk to our future prosperity.

In contrast, the Coalition’s plan will ensure young Australians have the opportunity to develop their talents at a secondary school level at specialist technical colleges.

Troy Williams
Liberal Candidate for Fraser

sepi sepi 6:35 pm 20 Nov 07

Stupid waste of time and money.
They should just employ a few more tafe teachers to take on yr 11 and 12s if that’s what they want.

pierce pierce 5:11 pm 20 Nov 07

Maybe his plan is to sneak there under cover of darkness and change the sign out the front?

areaman areaman 4:56 pm 20 Nov 07

The irony of it is that Humphries announces this election promise on the land that the ACT government is going build both a college and CIT campus on in 2009.

pierce pierce 4:28 pm 20 Nov 07

It does seem like a strange form of duplication of the TAFE sector. Is there an existing TAFE in QBN?

My understanding is that it’s primarily a way of putting those pesky teachers on AWAs by making them Commonwealth rather than state/territory employees.

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