School leavers could miss out on further education and employment opportunities unless the Department of Education shores up permanent positions for participation co-ordinators in Geraldton, a union claims.
Community and Public Sector Union/Civil Service Association branch assistant secretary Rikki Henderson said co-ordinators in Geraldton were on fixed-term contracts and should be given better security.
“These co-ordinators are providing a much-needed role that will always be in demand, so we are seeking permanent appointments for these staff as a matter of priority,” she said.
Participation co-ordinators find post-school opportunities for students, aged 16 and 17, who have become disengaged from mainstream education.
Ms Henderson said the number of full-time co-ordinators in WA had dropped by 44 per cent to 48 co-ordinators, down from 86 in 2006-07.
She said the department had written to the CPSU/CSA last month confirming that any completed fixed-term contracts would be filled on a permanent basis.
But she said it was important the department didn’t cut back on the number of co-ordinators as they helped “steer disengaged students in the right direction”.
“It is imperative the fixed-term staff are given permanency and that current staff levels are maintained so students get the best possible chance of succeeding in life,” she said.
Midwest Education regional executive director Stephen Baxter said there were no plans to cut participation co-ordinators in the region.
“Three participation co-ordinators and one manager are currently working with 235 students across the Mid West,” he said.“The director-general, Sharyn O’Neill, recently confirmed that upon completion of fixed term contracts, subsequent vacancies for participation co-ordinators would be filled on a permanent basis.”
'The West Australian' is a trademark of West Australian Newspapers Limited 2013.
All rights reserved.
Select your state to see news for your area.