BREAKING: The Rockliff Government has announced a last-minute reversal to the planned cuts and closure of Studentworks. The following is the AEU statement released before the Government backflip.
The Australian Education Union Tasmania Branch is extremely concerned about the imminent closure of Launceston’s Studentworks – a longstanding, successful program that has been supporting students for more than 40 years.
It is beyond belief that the State Government would consider closing such a vital program that supports local disengaged students into work.
The AEU understands that this move, to make cuts to Education by stealth, is based on an incomplete review of the program.
The Minister is being careful with the facts by claiming this incomplete review will help determine the next steps for this type of educational provision.
This outstanding program has significant support within the community and is strongly endorsed by local business leaders.
This year Studentworks has involved more than 30 students from 10 different schools in a range of disciplines.
It is difficult to understand how these students will be catered for in their local school, particularly given the severe shortage of teachers.
Every Tasmanian public school is currently underfunded $1,289 per student per year and the state is in the middle of a teacher shortage leaving many schools struggling to cope.
No school will be able to support these types of programs when they are already struggling to staff classes.
Cutting funding, teaching positions and support to Studentworks just shows the Liberal Government doesn’t understand education and training and doesn’t care about anything that isn’t one of their political priorities.
Studentworks and Tasmanian students deserve better. The Minister must reverse these cuts and support Studentworks to continue its important work.