The State Opposition is accusing the government of continuing with plans to shut down Studentworks in Launceston.
It says Education Minister Roger Jaensch has demonstrated his failure to understand the role of Studentworks and does not hold high regard for the work Studentworks has done for young people in Northern Tasmania, nor the students that attend the skills-based education facility.
“The Minister is on the parliamentary record saying, “there are some kids who are not cut out for school and that they should be in a workshop doing something manual to see out their time.”
“This dismissive approach completely fails to grasp the meaningful work and educational outcomes that a properly resourced and supported Studentworks can offer.
“Back in July he was caught out trying to shut Studentworks down by the end of the year and was forced to abandon his plans, he then promised a review that would deliver a sustainable future for Studentworks, and yet has failed to identify options to support this valuable program.
“In question time when asked if he had sought to work with industry groups he made it clear that he would only talk to industry groups once a decision was made.
Opposition spokesperson Michelle O’Byrne says the Minister has also failed to guarantee that qualified trades staff will remain in the program.
“His decision to move the program into a part time T4 program is a lost opportunity for students in the northern region,” she said.
“This is a lost opportunity to invest in rebuilding Studentworks and creating meaningful partnerships for young people, for whom the traditional education model does not work.
“We call on the minister to abandon his plans, sit down with industry groups to rebuild Studentworks and invest in young people in Northern Tasmania.”