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PIAA pursuing Qld TAFE print funding

Wednesday, 24 April 2019
By Wayne Robinson

Youth focus: Printers, PIAA, unions and government working to release funding for print apprentices at Qld TAFEs, with Qld MP Leanne Linard centre

Peak industry association PIAA says it is closer to securing funding for print courses at Queenland TAFEs, following a breakthrough multi-stakeholder meeting in Brisbane.

Hosted by the PIAA, the event saw government, industry, VET/ TAFEs, printers and the AMWU meeting together, with the PIAA aiming to see the release money for print courses at Queensland TAFEs, whose funding in the sunshine state is described as ‘dire’.

Key elements of the discussion included how to address the low numbers of TAFE enrolments at Queensland TAFE in the Printing & Graphic Arts Packages (ICP), and indeed the low number across all RTOs in the state. There was a refreshing dialogue around including schools via VET, which would create visibility in younger generations of the viability of a career in printing.

“This initial meeting was highly positive and encouraging,” said Walter Kuhn, president of the PIAA. “Having all the right people together discussing solutions is incredibly encouraging, and I am confident of the future.” 

According to Andrew Macaulay, CEO PIAA, a key objective of the PIAA is to secure a future in TAFE and VET for the printing and visual communications industry.

“This meeting builds on our previous achievements in other states. We are delighted that the Queensland Government has recognised the value of investing in VET, and the strong track record of collaboration between the AMWU and the PIAA to deliver. Our industry is in dire need of stable funding for TAFE placements and apprenticeships – we will continue to work towards securing this outcome coast to coast,” he said.

This meeting follows successful lobbying in Victoria with the creation of Holmesglen TAFE apprenticeships, followed by convincing the state government in Tasmania to fund Holmesglen. Subsequent lobbying efforts in South Australia resulted in the Skilling SA project late in 2018, and in New South Wales the association gained a commitment from the then NSW minister for Skills and minister for Small Business, John Barilaro MP, specific to print, print manufacturing and print communications.

The PIAA’s bigger target is to create a fully funded national training programme for print apprenticeships, initially through a state by state approach. The Association and the union are working together to achieve the goal, says Ben Cornel, national standards and accreditation officer for the PIAA. 

“AMWU and PIAA delivered FuturePrint together, and this is seen as the yardstick for VET delivery by industry. We are determined to deliver sustainable VET for our industry,” he said.

Leanne Linard, member for Nudgee and chair of the Queensland parliamentary committee on education, employment and small business, sustained a valuable dialogue through the meeting with all participants. The PIAA is says it is delighted to have the opportunity to work with Ms Linard to resolve the TAFE issues that affect the Queensland print and packaging industry.

Key elements of the discussion included discussing how to address the low numbers of enrolments at Queensland TAFE in the Printing & Graphic Arts Packages (ICP), and indeed the low number across all RTOs in the state, plus a refreshing dialogue around including schools via VET, which would create visibility in younger generations of the viability of a career in printing.

Securing funding for VET and TAFE needs in the printing, packaging and visual communications sector with all stakeholders engaged and active is firmly in the sights of the PIAA.

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