TAFE campuses across NSW will have almost 700 fewer staff by July, with student advisor, caretaker, and fee help co-ordinator positions among those to be slashed.
The Community Public Sector Union of NSW has been advised of two major restructures, which will see 10 per cent of educational support jobs go.
Some 678 positions, including an estimated 470 in the regions, will be cut.
Student advisors, customer support officers, fee help co-ordinators, help desk operators, caretakers, security officers, and more are in the firing line.
CPSU NSW secretary Stewart Little accused the Berejiklian government of gutting the TAFE system.
"Unfortunately what we're seeing from the government again is a lot of rhetoric about the need for vocational education and training ... (but) the government is seeking to privatise TAFE," he said.
"These jobs losses will have a devastating effect on regional NSW."
When asked in parliament about the restructure, Premier Gladys Berejiklian denied the number of job losses, saying "if it was left to those opposite they would not want any organisation to modernise or become more relevant".
"The best advice I've received is in fact there are some positive changes happening in the organisation," she said.
In some areas of TAFE and vocational education the state was "actually hiring more people".
She insisted the restructure would directly impact "less than 50 people ... across the state ... none of them on frontline jobs".
Opposition Leader Jodi McKay said Labor would fight the restructure.
The fact that teaching positions wouldn't be cut was irrelevant, she said.
"For the government to say, 'Oh, they're not teachers', just is so disrespectful," Ms McKay said.
"Disadvantaged and vulnerable young people - that is what TAFE is there to support as well.
"These young people sometimes find navigating the system very threatening and difficult, and these people are there to guide them through ... to make sure they feel supported."
Labor MP Jihad Dib said to cut staff in the middle of a recession was cruel.
"They're going to sack 700 people from the very organisation that could actually be the hero of our economic recovery," ," the opposition's spokesman on Skills and TAFE said.
"They know the cost of everything but the value of nothing."
Australian Associated Press