SA TAFE courses earn reprieve

A national training authority has reversed a decision to block the registration of 10 TAFE SA courses.

A national training authority has reversed a decision to suspend the registration of 10 TAFE courses in South Australia, ensuring the qualifications and ongoing training of more than 1000 students.

However, the Australian Skills Quality Authority says TAFE SA must still rectify minor non-compliance issues with the courses, which include automotive, hairdressing and building qualifications.

The authority says TAFE SA has provided sufficient evidence that it has rectified the most serious problems with the courses.

South Australian Education Minister John Gardner said the government was pleased all the courses at risk could now continue.

“This is very important news for South Australian business, industry and most importantly for those students seeking to undertake qualifications so that they can get a job,” he said.

But Mr Gardner said the new Liberal government would push ahead with plans to replace the current TAFE board as he released a Department of State Development review of TAFE SA which raised wider concerns.

That review found that TAFE’S desire to cut costs to better compete with private training groups had come at the expense of the quality and amount of training provided.

The minister said the government would respond in full to the review in due course but noted its issues with strategy, governance, capability, culture and resources.

At the height of TAFE SA’s problems last year the skills quality authority raised concerns with 16 courses and in December reaffirmed its decision to suspend registration in 10.

In March this year, TAFE SA lodged an application for the orders to be reconsidered.

In its decision on Wednesday, the authority noted that the organisation had expended significant effort and resources in order to successfully achieve compliance and had cooperated with the regulator throughout the process.

It said TAFE SA had been told to resolve the remaining minor issues within 20 working days and had been advised that another audit would be conducted in 2018.

Acting chief executive Alex Reid said TAFE SA would have no problem rectifying the remaining minor problems within the 20-day period.


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