Australian TAFE closing aviation technical training campus

Nov. 21, 2012 at 10:56 AM

SYDNEY, Nov. 21 (UPI) -- Australia's technical and further education Riverina Institute is closing its aviation technical training campus.

Institute Director Kerry Penton contacted staff to tell them that media reports of larger cuts were incorrect, however.

TAFE National Aerospace Training Center of Excellence staff say BAE Systems Australia, which recently lost a defense contract in Newcastle has won the tender, but they have yet to hear from the new provider.

The TAFE Riverina NATCOE website states that NATCOE, at the Royal Australian Air Force Base Wagga, "specialist training center provides aerospace training to Army, Navy and Air Force trainees, Australian Defense Support Industries Trainees, as well as to Defense Cooperation Program trainees. This commercial contract is the largest technical training contract in Australia, and over 1,000 trainees graduate each year."

Penton acknowledged that the inability of the teachers' union to negotiate reduced costs was a major factor in the contract loss but she denied TAFE wanted to cut annual wages to NATCOE staff by $20,000, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported Wednesday.

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