Local ACE colleges forced to cut classes, close office
ACE Community Colleges will be forced to cut Lismore classes and has closed its Casino office due to State Government funding cuts.
From November 14, ACE at Lismore will no longer open on Fridays, while its Casino office and administration centre have already closed.
Principal Kerry Johnson claims funding allocations, which stripped roughly 80% of the not-for-profit's funding, were largely made with "algorithms and computers".
"We asked 'when is a human eye actually going to look at any of this'," she said.
"It's been a big blow for community colleges across the state.
"Staff feel like a lot of hard work has come to nothing."
Now, Ms Johnson said the training provider of more than 35 years can only offer nine subsidised training places.
She said in previous years ACE had been able to offer up to 205 places.
"About two weeks ago we found out about all of this, but there was a period of confidentiality," she said.
"Our peak bodies only found out about the same time as us too.
"We'll still keep going, but we'll need to rethink how we do everything."
Ms Johnson said the Government's Smart and Skilled vocational education and training reform is anything but intelligent.
"The process was flawed and I don't think enough was taken into account regarding the impact on regional communities and people working in them," she said.
"It just makes no sense. A lot of training organisations are getting really limited amounts of money.
"I've met with (MP) Thomas George, he was pretty good and he's taking our comments to the Education Minister."
Ms Johnson said ACE's training often leads to employment.