While last Wednesday's Victorian state budget included some massive cuts to the Victorian VET sector, NMIT's (Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE) program delivery for existing students will remain unaffected for the remainder of 2012.
The Institute has also commenced extensive analysis and financial modelling of specific course areas which will provide essential data for the management of course offerings in 2013.
The budget announcement included reduced government subsidies for around 80 percent of vocational courses in the state as part of more than $100 million in cuts to skills training; however, NMIT will not know the full impact of the cuts until it has had the opportunity to conduct further analysis.
“While we still have a lot of specific analysis to do, we anticipate that funding cuts to NMIT programs will be in the order of $25 million,” said NMIT CEO, Dr Andy Giddy.
“This is obviously a major impact for us and larger than we had anticipated prior to the budget. We recognise these cuts will be unsettling news for NMIT staff and students, particularly given that some media commentators and TAFE leaders are predicting drastic consequences such as campus closures for some providers, increased fees and job losses.”
NMIT senior management will investigate all avenues to reduce the impact of the budget cuts and, in a recent message to staff, Dr Giddy outlined a number of possible strategies including:
- Mitigating the funding shortfall through optimizing class sizes, modifying course offerings and fees.
- Increasing student numbers and NMIT's range of course offerings by filling the gap left by other providers who may exit parts of the market in the wake of the budget cuts.
- Investigating the viability of re-deploying staff from courses that may be discontinued.
- Pushing hard to reach and exceed annual enrolment targets by midyear 2012.
“As one of the state's top four TAFEs, NMIT will draw upon its current financial strength and educational reputation to tackle the challenges ahead. We currently have healthy enrolments across most program areas and possess some of the best industry training infrastructure in the southern hemisphere,” said Dr Giddy.
“We also benefit from a highly diverse program offering and many of our trades and community services program areas have been less severely impacted by the state budget.
“However, we are also a large provider in areas where funding has been severely reduced such as hospitality, business and events training. So we anticipate having to stop delivery in some areas and, unless we can find ways to grow our business into the medium to long-term, it is likely that we will need to consider some job losses in 2013. But I can't be any more specific until we have had an opportunity to carefully analyse and model the new funding arrangements.”
When asked how the state budget would impact on the social and economic future of Victoria, Dr Giddy said “Ultimately, economic productivity improvement can only be achieved with effective skills training. TAFEs need to continue to provide that training and we will seek to regain our share of the available skills funding, a share that has been lost to an unsustainable growth in the private sector”.
Interview / Photo Opportunity
Media enquiries should be directed to the NMIT Communications Officer, James Gardener, on (03) 92691579, 0413 483 182 or firstname.lastname@example.org
NMIT (Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE) - Situated on six campuses and six training centres throughout Melbourne's north plus a regional campus at Ararat, NMIT delivers vocational training, higher education and lifelong learning capabilities for a global workforce. NMIT forges partnerships with community, industry and government to produce practical, solution orientated graduates capable of making meaningful contributions to their chosen field of endeavour.
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Interview / Photo Opportunity
Media enquiries should be directed to the NMIT Communications Officer, James Gardener.