Minister for Higher Education and Skills Peter Hall said today's unprotected strike action by members of the Australian Education Union and the National Tertiary Education Union will not stop the government working with TAFEs and other training providers to realise their potential under the Coalition Government's reforms to the training system.
"Today's industrial action is unnecessary and causes inconvenience for TAFE students and the wider community," Mr Hall said.
"Victoria invests more money than any other state in its training system and the Coalition Government's changes provide all training organisations – including TAFEs – access to a record amount of funding.
"While any period of change causes some uncertainty, I am confident that Victoria's training system is responding to the changes well and that we will have a stronger, more responsive and sustainable system in the future. TAFEs will continue to play an important role in the system.
"The TAFEs' transition plans show many of them are planning to innovate and focus on courses that help Victorians get jobs," Mr Hall said.
Mr Hall said TAFEs with a strong reputation for quality training and Government-owned assets were in a prime position to build on their positions as major providers of training in Victoria, but it was the unions and Federal Government that seemed intent on eroding confidence in TAFE by "talking down" TAFE training.
"Recent reckless comments from Federal Ministers showed the Gillard Government was more intent on pushing their own self-interested political agenda than achieving positive training outcomes for Victorians," Mr Hall said.
"The market driven training system was engineered by a State Labor Government, required by the Federal Labor Government and now Daniel Andrews and Chris Evans are shamelessly seeking to absolve themselves of their own creation."
Over the next four years, the Coalition Government will invest almost $5 billion in training subsidies alone, including a new investment of $1.033 billion. This is a record ongoing investment.