It’s old news TAFE Illawarra will no longer run the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP).
But revelations the highly-popular program will now be run by MAX Solutions has come as a shock to students.
Last month the Federal Government originally awarded the contract to Navitas, who has since sub-contracted AMEP to fellow training provider Max Solutions.
A Max Employment spokesman confirmed to the Mercury that its Wollongong office will deliver the program from July 1, 2017.
That’s well and good for Wollongong-based students, but uncertainty remains for students in Eden Monaro, Gilmore and Newcastle.
Hunter TAFE also lost the AMEP contract to Navitas. NSW Teachers Federation said this decision will put 26 teaching staff under threat (including 2 full time teachers) and affect 200 students.
NSWTF organiser Robert Long said more than 70 teachers and support staffing positions are under threat and over 200 students will be impacted in the Illawarra/South Coast region.
He said small campuses like Moruya and Ulladulla will be heavily impacted in the Gilmore electorate.
‘’Teachers from our smaller rural colleges are worried they will not have adequate funding to keep their foundation studies sections open,’’ Mr Long said.
‘’Teachers have expressed grave concerns about the impact of further cuts and the ability to provide language, literacy and numeracy support to their students, including apprentices.’’
Eden Monaro MP Mike Kelly said it was not fair that the Liberal government ‘’is again chipping away at the education services of rural and regional towns’’.
‘’Moving to a new provider for adult migrant literacy will see the loss of the existing highly trained and experienced TAFE teachers who make a real difference in student outcomes,’’ he said.
Newcastle MP Sharon Claydon was concerned that Max Employment may not have the expertise or onsite facilities to provide the standard of training and service that TAFE has been delivering in Newcastle for over three decades.
Cunningham MP Sharon Bird this was just another attempt by the Liberals to decimate TAFE in regions like the Illawarra.
‘’The new provider – whether it is Navitas or MAX Solutions - doesn’t have teachers, doesn’t have classrooms, whereas I understand TAFE Illawarra had a AAA rating in the previous Commonwealth contract,’’ she said.
‘’The many students I have met with are very distressed by this decision and the significant impact it will have on them as they have rented properties close to the TAFE, have their kids in local schools and use the childcare facilities at TAFE.’’