Staff cut in Federation Training overhaul

The ongoing restructure at Federation Training claimed 26 staff positions last week, as part of an organisational overhaul aimed at getting Gippsland’s TAFE sector back in the black.

The staff departures, which were found across a spread of former GippsTAFE and Advance TAFE campuses, were detailed in a late-afternoon media statement released on Friday.

It is understood the departure process involved voluntary expressions of interest from staff, which subsequently shaped a targeted redundancy phase.

However, it is unclear whether any of the staff redundancies were forced.

The media release flagged further ‘personnel changes’ in the coming 15 months as Federation Training continues to merge business systems and integrate courses as part of its “transformation plan”, aimed at “creating a healthy and vibrant organisation that delivers quality sustainable training opportunities”.

“Our priority into the future is to deliver these positive outcomes through a number of processes, which include the right sizing of the organisation, course redesign and the streamlining of administrative processes and systems,” the media release stated.

“These and other future activities will ensure that Federation Training continues to be an innovative, modern and responsive education facility for Gippsland (and beyond).”

The Express had unsuccessfully pursued Federation Training’s chief executive for further details of the restructure in the week leading up to Friday’s media release.

The redundancies came as the first publicly announced job losses at Federation Training since the merger between Advance TAFE and GippsTAFE in May, which prompted concerns from the National Tertiary Education Union at the time.

NTEU representative Sharon Spears said then the union would condemn any staff job losses and reduced services for students due to redundancies of support staff on local campuses.

Fed Training has not provided any further details as to how last week’s redundancies will affect student services and course delivery.

Friday’s announcement comes after a Victorian auditor-general’s report found the two Gippsland based institutions were in “dire financial trouble” prior to the merger, with Advance TAFE recording underlying result of negative 50.9 per cent and GippsTAFE a negative 15 per cent, in 2013.

The state-wide overhaul to the TAFE system comes after the State Government announced $300 million in annual cuts to the sector in 2012, before announcing a $200 million transition fund in 2013, $40 million of which has been allocated to the Fed Training transition.