CQUni moves on initiative to tackle jobs crisis
UP to 50 Central Queensland University staff whose jobs were facing the chopping block have been thrown a lifeline under a new initiative to form a redeployment pool announced by the education institution yesterday.
The initiative focuses on avoiding redundancies of up to 50 non-teaching vocational education and training (VET) staff and will employ a divisional restructure followed by the formation of the redeployment pool, aimed at competitive and financially stable operations which are "geared for growth".
Two consecutive years of 20% declines in VET student numbers and a downturn in the resources sector put pressure on the otherwise booming CQUni but a model that "simply wasn't competitive enough" with private training providers entering the market meant CQUni was forced to cut costs.
"The anticipated 40 to 50 predominantly non-teaching VET staff who find themselves sitting outside the new structure will join a new temporary unit working on various priority projects within the university," CQUniversity Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Scott Bowman (pictured) said.
"CQUniversity's finances and cash flow remain in an incredibly strong position.
"But financially our VET Division still operates under the structure of the old public sector system and is unlikely to achieve sustainability unless structural changes occur."
But not only will staff be kept in jobs, up to 150 employment opportunities are set to be created throughout CQUni's 15 campuses with new, industry-ready courses on the books for Rockhampton students.
Professor Bowman said courses in veterinary nursing, logistics, pet grooming and agriculture would be available from 2016 and help prepare students for university degrees.
"We are looking to develop an arts focus with a lot of new course in the TAFE section," he said.
"There are lots of opportunities out there with business and government and this new structure will give a lot more autonomy with teaching staff."
Minister for Training and Skills Yvette D'Ath worked closely with Professor Bowman to keep employees in jobs.
"CQU has been clear with the government about the need for re-structure," Ms D'Ath said.
"I held real concerns about making people redundant."
Ms D'Ath said she was confident in the additional jobs set for CQUni in 2016.
"I believe that the proposal being progressed reflects CQU's own statement that they will be creating more jobs next year," she said.
"The Government will continue to work with CQU to get the most out of the new dual sector entity in Central Queensland."