The Australian | 9 August 2013
It’s the latest in a string of modifications to the state’s four year-old open training market. They include cuts and some increases to course funding rates, changes to eligibility rules and a stop-start approach to dedicated funding streams – including the scrapping of TAFEs’ $170 million “community service obligation” funding.
Last month reports emerged that TAFEs and private colleges were boosting their revenue by up to $4000 per student, by enrolling existing students in extra foundation skills units that they often didn’t need.
From next week, colleges will no longer receive funding to teach foundation skills to several categories of students. They include people still at school, those with diplomas or degrees, and participants in a commonwealth employment scheme.
Other students will only attract funding for foundation courses related to their primary courses, or specifically designed to boost their numeracy or literacy.
Foundation courses will also be added to the “two course rule” which limits the number of subsidised units students can undertake simultaneously. Eligibility for the certificate I in vocational preparation will face additional restrictions, and from next month the funding rate for the course will be cut to $5 per student per hour.
Funding for recognition of prior learning will also be affected, with RPL attracting just 50% of the course delivery funding rate in the technically focused “band A” courses.
Band A courses had been exempted when the government halved RPL funding for other courses in last year’s budget. However the latest change doesn’t apply to courses that lead to trade licences.