An electrotechnology teacher has retracted an email sent to students claiming that face-to-face teaching would not resume post the lifting of pandemic restrictions.
Electrotechnology students, who have been studying online during COVID-19 restrictions, received the email this week.
However, the suggestion that Tasmania's publicly funded vocational education provider would move to mostly online delivery has been dismissed as "ridiculous and wrong" by chief executive Jenny Dodd.
However, the Australian Education Union Tasmania and Labor disagree, saying the email points to a systemic problem within the vocational education system.
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In an email to staff, Ms Dodd said traditional ways of teaching would not resume, and that staff should prepare themselves to embed elements on online learning into their courses.
"We cannot simply return to traditional style classes as we held before. Teaching teams must adjust their delivery and use the available technology to incorporate an online component from now and forevermore," the email from May 11 reads.
"For those teaching teams who thought 'when this is over we will go back to normal', that is not an option. From this COVID-19 situation that has been forced upon us, we actually have an opportunity to incorporate the work we have done in the online space into our courses, on an ongoing basis."
Ms Dodd said the email had incorrect information and she had asked the teacher to retract it.
"As a vocational education and training provider TasTAFE will always offer practical training," Ms Dodd said.
"TasTAFE will always offer practical training. However, we must also harness the innovations that have come about as a result of COVID-19 that have helped TasTAFE to be agile and contemporary."
The teacher will be required to retract the email and contact the students involved to set the record straight. The teacher will not face any further former sanction for the miscommunication.
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AEU Tasmania TAFE president Simon Bailey said there were concerns from the union and from industry bodies that training delivery would be changed. He said communication with TasTAFE during the pandemic had been shifting towards the incorporation of a more permanent online component to courses, which he said was not feasible.
Mr Bailey said the industry was "rightly concerned" about any potential shift to an online method. Labor Skills and Training spokeswoman Michelle O'Byrne said the suggestion that this was a mistake made by an individual teacher did not wash as it was not the first time there have been concerns over TasTAFE's delivery of courses.
"We know that before COVID-19 that TasTAFE was struggling to attract teachers and deliver courses," she said.
"All this [the pandemic] has done is exacerbate the problem."
Ms O'Byrne said COVID-19 represented an opportunity to overhaul the investment and funding for TasTAFE to increase its capacity to deliver the vital skills needed for Tasmania to recover from the virus.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison flagged an overhaul of the vocational education funding model as part of his address this week.
However, Ms O'Byrne said that it did not leave her with any confidence.
"This federal government has decimated TAFE and what was concerning about this was that there was not any funds, timelines or dollars attached to this commitment," she said.