A Certificate III course to be offered at Launceston College next year has drawn the anger of the education union after the advertisement promoted a pathway to the University College.
Australian Education Union Tasmania TAFE president Simon Bailey said it was out of the norm for a college to offer a Certificate III, when they had previously only offered Certificate I or II.
He also said the advertisement, which was posted to social media, should have referenced TasTAFE as another pathway for the qualification, rather than simply the University College.
"We constantly see private providers such as University College promoted by colleges and DoE [Department of Education] as the organisation to go through for further VET programs. Why are they not supporting their public provider of VET education - TasTAFE?" Mr Bailey said.
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Mr Bailey said the course, Certificate III in Community Services, would be a duplication of a course already offered at TasTAFE, which was something Tasmania could not afford.
"We have seen the duplication of Cert II programs being introduced across the state by the DoE," he said.
"Many programs are being offered through TasTAFE and can be accessed by DoE students."
However, a Department of Education spokeswoman said education was "not a one-size-fits-all" approach and students should be informed about all their future pathways.
"The broader aims of Years 9-12 education in Tasmania are about providing every learner with an appropriate pathway into further training, study or work. For many students this learning journey starts before the completion of formal schooling," the spokeswoman said.
Mr Bailey said duplication through the college system and extension schools had already negatively impacted TasTAFE.
"In some cases because of declining student numbers TasTAFE have stopped delivering these programs only to have a college then come in and start using TasTAFE facilities to deliver the same program," he said.
The DoE spokeswoman said the department maintained a strong focus on improving the transition of students from year 10 and into years 11 and 12.
It is also working to develop a vocational education policy, which is "evidence-informed and will embed best practice approaches for both engaging and accrediting students in vocational education and training. Key stakeholders are being consulted as part of this policy work."
University College chief executive Lee Whiteley said that while the college did cross over into vocational education, its focus was on applied learning through its associate degrees.
He has previously advocated for a "single front door" approach to vocational education, and said the University College is working with TasTAFE on course credits and pathways to ensure collaboration between the two providers, instead of competition.
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