Earn or Learn?

So today it was revealed that the federal government wants to implement a 6 month waiting period between finishing high school and being allowed to apply for Centrelink unemployment benefits.

The mind boggles. The TAFE’s and universities in Australia are already grossly underfunded. And the government has just effectively announced and “earn or learn” policy. This will dump thousands more students into this already underfunded tertiary education system. These are students that are unlikely to be academically inclined in the first place and who would be better off going directly into the workforce.

So, who exactly is going to be teaching this new influx of students? Universities nationally are firing academic staff due to budget pressures. Yet the government expects the system to cope with potentially thousands of new students? Let’s get them enrolled and get them off welfare, but they may well be facing an empty classroom if TAFE’s and universities don’t have the money to employ sufficient staff to teach them.

You know, when the federal election was held last year, I didn’t think I could dislike the coalition government any more than I did. I stand corrected – I was wrong.


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