Stop TAFE’s Cuts to The Arts

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Stop TAFE’s Cuts to The Arts

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My classmates and I have recently been told that there is no longer going to be a Certificate IV option for Props, Set Construction and Scenic Art at TAFE. We have only just completed the Cert III course as of 2/07/21. We have been asking for several months about how Certificate IV will be delivered, we hadn’t been able to receive a straight answer until three weeks ago. This is the ONLY course in South Australia where this can be studied. Without this course, we no longer have theatre or film in this State.

We are all incredibly saddened, angry and disappointed by this decision. This is our lives and livelihoods that have been inconvenienced, to say the least. We have had opportunities that we could have taken, but knew that we wanted to continue with Cert IV. We have now missed these opportunities due to this reason. I find it immensely inconsiderate to do this. We all had plans, goals and aspirations that we wanted to achieve. This will not be happening now. Some of my classmates have even moved here from interstate to be able to pursue the course.

According to management, TAFE enrolment numbers are monitored for two years before cutting a course. 

We haven’t exactly had the most usual past year. I don’t know how numbers can accurately be judged on that. The arts has been pushed aside and suffered within the last year. It’s happening right now, hence this petition.

Wouldn’t it be prudent and courteous if TAFE continually assess enrolment numbers and there was a possibility of cutting a course to inform the applicants? But instead we were kept in the dark and left wondering what’s going on for several months. Putting our lives on hold. Cutting this course, will see the end to 45 years. How many other courses will this happen to in the future?

We are also deeply saddened by the fact some of our lecturers we have got to know and admire will be losing their jobs, with also barely any notice. They have been long term loyal staff.

We have only the skills in Cert III, which is not sufficient to gain employment. Having the Cert IV will greatly improve our likelihood of gaining employment. After we found out that the course was no more. We were told we have the option of continuing with diploma, which is more designing and management. There isn’t building and creating in it. There will no longer be a workshop area to do so. Some classmates have since applied for diploma. They were actually rejected for it, and their applications had to be pushed forward by one of our lecturers that was fortunate enough to keep their job. They are anxious that they will be behind the others within the diploma course as the others have had the luxury of being able to complete the Cert IV. This just proves to me that they’re not ready for the diploma. I find this decision to be a total cash grab, as diploma courses will bring in more money with less students needed.

I have also been told on a few occasions that general Building and Construction is an option. Just to clarify, regular Building and Construction isn’t the same compared to Set Construction. They are similar. There are endless structural possibilities within Set Construction. Regular construction is generally more straightforward. 

We do firmly believe there would be more enrolments for this course if it were only marketed in a proper way. A revamp in equipment and the addition of more innovative tools/software, would make us more competitive with the states Universities. The lecturers TAFE have are amazing and highly talented. The skills and techniques they teach are awe inspiring. Some of the talent that has come from this course is world class. There are graduates working locally, in New York and around the world, we recently met one that just finished working on Thor IV. From the very Cert IV we were intending on continuing with, there were students taken directly from the course to work on Mortal Kombat. Which I do recall Mr Steven Marshall being rather excited to announce that it was going to be filmed here in South Australia.

The state will suffer as a whole without this course. Eventually there will be a skills shortage in this area. It is already starting to happen in certain areas, such as set construction. South Australia’s film industry is in full swing at the moment and has been for quite sometime. Long before COVID 19 hit. I’m sure you’re aware now due to COVID there is even more filming happening here because we are one of the most COVID safe places. The Adelaide Fringe is a massive part of our state economy. I know that there are graduates working on that too. Will everyone that is needed in these areas be nationally and internationally sourced? These should be jobs that go to helping our states job growth. This is the arts TAFE, in the arts state. Where will we be as a state in the future if integral courses are continually cut? We will soon cease to be known as “The Festival State”.

Please, at the absolute least, keep the Cert IV for our group, as we have only really half completed what we set out to achieve. While we are studying the Cert IV, please make your intentions to cut certain courses clear. This way people won’t be wasting time in completing a course that is only a glimpse at what is to come. Once the renovations are completed and there is no longer a set construction and props area. Please don’t let this be the time to fully comprehend the decision that has been made. You won’t know what you had until it’s gone.

Thank you for your help, time and consideration.

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This petition made change with 477 supporters!

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