TAFE Western has released research showing it generates 870 jobs that lead to $90 million of household income in the region.
It also puts annual TAFE Western expenditure at more than $200 million.
Western Research Institute’s (WRI) research reveals that its 2015 graduates will earn $125 million more in their working lives than “a similar group with no post school qualifications”.
TAFE Western has commissioned the research as the state government plans an overhaul of the sector.
It offers “resounding proof of the organisation’s undeniable worth to the region,” TAFE Western Institute acting director Adam Bennett said.
“The key findings of WRI’s research demonstrate that TAFE Western has a massive, positive economic impact in NSW,” he said.
Mr Bennett said TAFE Western’s impact on the region’s human capital was “huge” after referring to the extra $125 million in earnings.
“Individuals who gain a certificate III or above increase their weekly earnings, and this is the same for TAFE’s Aboriginal students,” he said.
“Unemployment levels are also lower for all students once they gain at least a certificate III level qualification at TAFE Western.
“We’re really proud to be such an important asset to our local communities.
“These figures not only emphasise the crucial contribution we make in regional NSW, but also prove that we do offer life-changing opportunities for our students.”
WRI general manager Wendy Mason said the research highlighted the key role TAFE Western played in the region.
“What it does show is that TAFE is a significant player as a direct employer and the flow on it has,” she said.
“It does highlight the importance of education and I’d hope it would inspire people in our region to think about where they want to be.”
Ms Mason said higher education “does pay off in the long run”.
“Over their lifeline there’s a lot of additional income earned if they’ve got that qualification,” she said.
Earlier this year the government told of 40 to 60 cents per dollar of TAFE’s $1.9 billion budget being spent on administration and the sector being “top heavy”.
There are expected to be job losses when it streamlines the organisation, replacing 10 separate institutes with one.