Independent candidate for Robertson, David Abrahams, is calling for a new, federally funded, Central Coast TAFE, with a headquarters in Gosford or Ourimbah, and a campus at Woy Woy.
Abrahams said the sadly depleted Gosford and Wyong TAFEs were administered from Newcastle under the Hunter TAFE Institute, with many courses having been removed from Central Coast campuses in recent years.
“A Central Coast TAFE would have a series of faculties based on Coast focused industries such as: Music and Entertainment, Food Production, Marine Studies, Advanced Manufacturing, Nursing and Caring, and Digital Industries.
“I support the transition of TAFE funding to be directly federally funded.
“The state governments have proven to be increasingly disinterested in Technical and Trade training.
“Universities have a much more stable federal funding model and they have thrived in relation to the TAFE sector; that is not right.
“However, we need management to be local.
“The businesses, teachers, trainers and industry associations that call the Central Coast home need to be in charge.”
Abrahams said courses which had been moved to Newcastle were effectively out of reach of local students.
“And we wonder why we have such low tertiary attainment rates and such a large unskilled workforce and low family income,” he said.
“Our own TAFE would take ownership of our campuses, add one in Woy Woy, and establish our own industry training plan for our industries.”
He has challenged all parties to commit to a TAFE on the Coast, as a way to boost industry, private investment and skills development, with a flow-on benefit to family incomes.
“I ran tech businesses on the Central Coast for 15 years, and we used to employ graduates from local TAFE courses every year,” he said.
“However, after the courses were withdrawn back to Newcastle, we lost all contact with graduates and faculties.”
Abrahams said the Coast has some of the lowest tertiary attainment rates in NSW, despite being the ninth largest region in Australia.
“I think this demonstrates how we have been systematically overlooked by governments of all stripes,” he said.
“We need autonomy in the TAFE system to rebuild it after years of cuts from state and federal governments.”
Media release, Feb 20
David Abrahams, Candidate for Robertson
Media statement, Feb 22
Candidate for Robertson