Would you invest in TAFE?

So I have been talking recently about the concept of federalising VET funding and what that would mean for various parts of the sector and offered some thought about how the State owned public providers, TAFE, could adapt to a funding mechanisms where they were not necessarily prioritised by the State government that owned them, and how different models might work out.  So over the weekend, while building our new chicken coop, (there is no connection, I just do my thinking in strange places), I was thinking about various options.  Given that TAFEs are state-owned entities this limits to some degree the amount of flexibility they have in terms of raising funds to be used for various purposes,  I thought to myself, if there was an opportunity to invest in TAFE would I be willing to take it.

So here is my question for the day.  If through some mechanism, share market float, private equity arrangements, or some other model, people were able to invest in TAFE would you and more importantly would you need to know or what structure would need to exist in order for you to be willing to do this.

If we were to look at the concept of an IPO or share market float, where for example the Queensland state government retained something over 50% of the ownership of TAFE and the rest of the TAFE was open for the Queensland public, or Australian public to purchase an interest in (in the form of shares), would you invest and would the general public of Queensland look on it as an opportunity to be part of the education of the state and be willing to put money into the system.

As most of you know I like to play games with ideas like this in head, so I would be really interested in hearing the thinking of other people about this little kernel of a concept.



About pauldrasmussen
Paul Rasmussen is one of Australia’s most widely read Vocational Education and Training Commentators. He provides deep, unbiased analysis and insights not only on topical issues, but also on the underlying structure and policy which supports the industry. His writing and analysis has been praised for its uncompromising and thought provoking style and its ability to focus on the issues of real importance to the sector. He has advised various government departments and ministers, training providers, public and private organisations, not for profits and small to medium enterprises on the VET sector and the issues and opportunities facing it. He is one of Australia’s most awarded learning professionals and a regular speaker at a range of conventions and forums. His extensive experience in vocational education, and learning and development coupled with formal qualifications in philosophy, ethics, business and education management allow Paul to provide a unique view of the road ahead and how to navigate it.

2 Responses to Would you invest in TAFE?

  1. Jim Davidson says:

    NOPE. Tafes is a government operation and like most government operations is: Defensive, over managed by less than capable people at times, inefficient, fails to meet work future requirements and seems to only achieve academic outcomes that suit themselves more than the working world.
    It produces qualifications but not practical ability.

  2. salutations,
    My perception of the above question is compared to would you invest in yourself. My experience of the system EDU and TAFE run hand in glove as industry based learning: the intensity of which runs skills merited parallel to industry dynamics current and future… I believe currently the organisational structure is fit for purpose and should be retained owned and controlled as a government (which I take to mean ‘of the people’) asset all the best thank you for sharing kind regards caroline

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