TasTAFE to meet future needs Wed 6 June 2012 Nick McKim Minister for Education and Skills The Minister for Education and Skills, Nick McKim, today said TasTAFE was a new organisation and the changes to VET would not see a return to TAFE Tasmania. Mr McKim said the changes recommended by the Report into the Public VET Providers in Tasmania will see the entire VET system in Tasmania improved and rejuvenated. "TAFE Tasmania had many successes but was not without its flaws," he said. "Industry experienced greater flexibility and focus under the Skills Institute, and individual vocational students experienced greater pathway opportunities and support under the Polytechnic. "TasTAFE will retain the gains made over the last three years while implementing further innovations to meet the future demands of the VET sector." Mr McKim said the figure currently being estimated for the cost of VET refinement in Tasmania was completely incorrect. "The figure currently being quoted for the cost of the Tasmanian Tomorrow reforms of $150 million is absurd. "The cost of implementation, and further refinements made to the system in 2010, was just over $4.5 million. "Different states across Australia are implementing different mechanisms to tackle the challenges facing the vocational education and training sector, and Tasmania was not isolated in its attempts to improve the VET system. "The creation of the Tasmanian Polytechnic and the TSI is just one example of how some states have gone a step further in making significant structural or organisational change in an attempt to more effectively meet the needs of different learner cohorts. Mr McKim said comments that the implementation should occur sooner than the 1 July 2013 timeframe were ill-founded. "There was a lot of criticism at the time of Tasmania Tomorrow that implementation was rushed and stakeholders were not consulted. "I have been careful to ensure that we are taking our time to make sure we get it right, fully consult and engage our stakeholders in the creation of the new entity. "Subject to the passing of legislation through the Tasmanian Parliament, TasTAFE will take effect from 1 July 2013; and this timeline will provide the most seamless transition for student and staff. "A high level implementation group, headed by Department of Education Secretary, will release an implementation plan by 31 July. "As with any major change we will engage with union groups throughout the change process." Mr McKim said the creation of TasTAFE will see a single public sector VET provider, supported by an improved VET system, which will deliver consolidated and cost-efficient vocational education and training for all Tasmanians.