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November 28, 2019

Up to 14 jobs are on the chopping block at West Wollongong and Wollongong TAFES as part of a 196 position jobs cull at TAFEs across New South Wales signed off by the Minister for Skills, Geoff Lee, last week.


The job categories to be slashed include recruitment, finance and facilities staff at both West Wollongong and Wollongong TAFEs.


Local TAFE workers are likely to lose their jobs just days before Christmas.


The Illawarra has seen this same gradual job slicing strategy before which resulted in the closure of Dapto TAFE in 2016.


The same positions were transferred out of Dapto TAFE campus at that time to West Wollongong and Wollongong TAFE campuses.


Member for Wollongong, Paul Scully said the Minister tried to sneak these job cuts out in the weeks before the Christmas season hoping no one would notice.


“This is just cold-hearted to sack workers just weeks from Christmas.


“We know there are going to be 14 jobs on the culling list from West Wollongong and Wollongong TAFE campuses.


“These position are essential to helping the teaching staff at TAFE do what they do best: teach skills.


“Instead with these jobs disappearing, frontline teaching staff will be forced to pick up the slack”, he said.


Mr Scully said that he was concerned about the future of West Wollongong TAFE campus in particular.


“We’ve seen how these same job cuts shut down the Dapto TAFE campus a couple of years ago and now they are going at West Wollongong and Wollongong.


“This Government’s strategy to close down TAFE campuses starts with jobs cuts, then moves to cutting courses, then cutting teaching staff and then shutting down the campus.


“Culling these jobs is the first step and I am very worried that the fate of Dapto will now be visited on West Wollongong”, he said.


Mr Scully said that continued downgrading of TAFE was happening at a time when just about every industry is complaining about skills shortages.