Endorsed Labor candidate for the state seat of Coffs Harbour, Tony Judge.
Endorsed Labor candidate for the state seat of Coffs Harbour, Tony Judge. Charis Brownlie

Labor candidate slams 'shameful' funding cuts to TAFE

STATE Labor candidate for Coffs Harbour Tony Judge has slammed the 'continued underfunding' of TAFE colleges, claiming it is costing jobs and opportunities in regional NSW.

"Recent reports that some teachers in NSW TAFE colleges are being forced to barter with each other for stationery and batteries and even provide their own toilet paper just highlights the absolute neglect of TAFE by the Liberal/National government," he said.

"Teachers should be properly resourced to concentrate on their real job, which is providing the highest possible standard of vocational education for TAFE students. Instead, they are forced to make do with inadequate supplies and workarounds."

Mr Judge said since 2013 around 5,700 staff have lost their jobs and there are now 63,000 less students in the TAFE system than in 2012.

"Student course fees have increased and services have been reduced," he said.

"TAFE plays a critical role in ensuring that we have the right people with the right skills to take on the jobs in demand in Regional NSW. It's where so many of our tradespeople and the people who provide key services in our region got their start.

"The failure to adequately resource TAFE takes away job opportunities from local people and creates skills shortages in essential trades."