TAFE NSW workers rally in Sydney over 700 job cuts and Scone campus sale

TAFE NSW workers are rallying in Sydney over the loss of 678 frontline jobs and the sale of the Scone campus, with the union warning south-west Sydney's youth unemployment is set to get worse as vital student services get cut.

More than 302 jobs are set to go from Sydney campuses, TAFE NSW's own documents have revealed. That includes 116 jobs from Sydney Metro, 50 from North Sydney, 42 from Western Sydney, and 92 from South Western Sydney campuses.

"TAFE NSW is the best pathway to get people out of the house and ready for work, especially for young people," said Stewart Little, general secretary of the CPSU NSW.

"One in five of Sydney's south-west young people are unemployed -- they need the help and guidance TAFE NSW can offer to find work. Instead of offering them more opportunities the government is cutting 10 percent of student support jobs."

Restructures in Student Services and Facilities Management and Logistics cut 678 positions, including 470 regional jobs. The jobs cuts include people who work directly with students, including: student advisors, customer support officers, field officers, VET fee help coordinators, help desk operators, marketing and promotions support officers.

Workers who maintain the campuses are also going, including: gardeners, caretakers, facilities officers, tradespersons, tool store persons, security officers, asset and fleet control managers, and site services assistants.

"Gladys Berejiklian and Dominic Perrottet are deliberately dismantling TAFE NSW piece-by-piece," said Mr Little. He was joined in the rally outside the Ultimo campus with Labor’s Shadow Minister for TAFE NSW, Jihad Dib and affected TAFE NSW workers.

"It's straight out of the privatisation playbook -- under resource the system and then sell it off claiming the private market will do a better job. TAFE NSW should never be privatised."

Mr Little said the deliberate under investment in TAFE NSW was also felt particularly in the regions.

"The sale of the Scone TAFE is the latest in the Berejiklian Government's fire sale of state assets which will leave regional NSW worse off,' Mr Little said.

"The sale of the Scone campus is incredibly short sighted. The Hunter region has a youth unemployment rate of 18 percent but rather than investing in training opportunities the government is selling off campuses and cutting jobs.

"What do the people of NSW get from this gutting of critical training infrastructure? Fewer jobs and a hobbled education system. In the middle of the worst economic downturn the state has seen in a generation the Berejiklian government is closing pathways to prosperity."


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