Dapto TAFE campus enrolment statistics are in free fall after three consecutive years with losing nearly another 100 students lost since 2012, the State Labor Opposition said today.
The Shadow Minister for Education and Shadow Minister for the Illawarra, Ryan Park MP, Member for Shellharbour, Anna Watson MP, and Glenn Kolomeitz, Labor candidate for Kiama, met today at Dapto TAFE to discuss yet another alarming drop in enrolment numbers for the campus.
“I’m extremely concerned for the future of Dapto TAFE campus, which this State Liberal Government is clearly now starving to death.
“Enrolment figures produced by the Minister himself show a massive decline in enrolment numbers over the last three years.
“In the last year of the former State Labor Government nearly 700 students were enrolled at the Dapto campus.
“Today, it stands at 274, which is down nearly another 100 enrolments on 2013, which itself had just 348 enrolments – a fall on the year before that.
“At the same time, staff numbers have fallen during that period of time to just 89 staff.
“The Minister has also confirmed that the Illawarra Institute Finance Unit, which was based at the Dapto TAFE campus, has been relocated to West Wollongong.
“Disturbingly, the Minister has made clear too that his Government will no longer be providing enrolment data for any individual college anywhere in New South Wales because of the Smart and Skilled Program”, Mr Park said.
Anna Watson said that she had been calling on the Minister for Education to invest in the Dapto TAFE campus given the area had an expanding population.
“This TAFE campus is being gutted by the State Government.
“It was once a thriving place of learning with nearly 700 students and 111 staff.
“Now it’s a like a ghost town with yet another fall in enrolment numbers and just 89 staff.
“The Minister and the Illawarra TAFE Institute management haven’t had the guts to come clean and tell the local Dapto community that it’s their intention to close this learning facility down.
“I fear that next year’s enrolment statistics – which will now be a secret – will show another fall.
“Under this State Liberal Government the Dapto TAFE has a limited life-span and I won’t stand for it”, Ms Watson said.
Glenn Kolomeitz said, “I’m very concerned that the secrecy around enrolments in TAFE campuses will mean local communities will be kept in the dark about student numbers and staff at TAFE.”
See also: Letter from Minister for Education, Adrian Piccoli MP, to Anna Watson MP, dated 15 October 2014 and answers to Questions on Notice showing student enrolment and staff numbers at Dapto TAFE campus
30 October 2014