SOUTH West TAFE boss Joe Piper says courses women predominantly enter will be no more affected by state government cuts than courses their male counterparts enter.
Mr Piper’s comments come after analysis by the Victorian TAFE Association showed the $290 million cuts to the Victorian TAFE budget would disadvantage women students on average twice as much and up to five times greater than males.
The preliminary study undertaken by the association examines 20 popular courses significantly impacted by funding cuts announced in the recent Victorian budget. The analysis looks at gender enrolment.
The analysis revealed the funding shortfall delivers a cut to courses popular with women by as much as 85 per cent, while apprenticeship courses dominated by male enrolments are cut in the vicinity of 6 per cent.
Victorian TAFE Association executive director David Williams said based on 2011 enrolment figures, the cuts to 10 courses popular with women would have a negative impact on over 65,000 Victorian women in 2013.
“The longer-term impact is courses favoured by women are in jeopardy and many TAFEs have flagged closures in the areas of business, hospitality, tourism and retail,” he said.
“It stands to reason that where those fewer remaining courses continue, they will incur higher student fees.”
Mr Piper said South West TAFE had roughly 50/50 male to female participation.
“Whilst we are monitoring this, it’s very difficult to tell on the basis of user choice,” he said.
Mr Piper said women had predominantly participated in health and community service courses and he didn’t expect them to be affected. “The balance is pretty even,” he said.
The association’s analysis showed funding for certificate II and III in hospitality would be cut by 85 per cent.