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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 3 Hansard (14 March) . . Page.. 536..

MR CORBELL: In relation to the Bronto, that was funded through the budget.

Mrs Dunne: Yes, and it took all of the money that you are proposing to spend on capital works.

MR CORBELL: It was funded through the budget. The government took the decision that the primary capital works expenditure it was prepared to authorise in this financial year was the replacement of the aerial appliance, the Bronto. We will take the same approach—

Mrs Dunne: It is going to cost $1.5 million.

MR CORBELL: We will take the same approach in relation to the replacement of other items. It will be considered by the government through the capital works program as part of each year's budget development.

Vocational education and training

MR GENTLEMAN: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Minister for Education and Training. According to the latest statistics from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research, how is the ACT performing on apprenticeships and traineeships compared with other states and territories?

MR BARR: I thank Mr Gentleman for the question and his keen interest in vocational education and training. I am very pleased to advise the Assembly that the latest statistics from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research show that the ACT is leading the nation in increases in new apprenticeships and traineeships, as well as in completions. The report shows an increase of 10 per cent in the number of commencements in apprenticeships and traineeships compared to a one per cent increase nationwide. The ACT has the biggest increase of any jurisdiction in the nation.

Mrs Dunne: And so has the drop-out rate.

MR BARR: The ACT also leads the nation when it comes to the completion of apprenticeships and traineeships, Mrs Dunne. Over 7,000 apprentices and trainees in the ACT completed their VET qualifications in the September quarter of 2006, an increase of 16 per cent over the same quarter for the previous year and compared to a national increase of four per cent. So young people are completing their apprenticeships and traineeships at a higher rate in the ACT than anywhere else in Australia. We can also be very pleased that so many Canberrans are committed to obtaining higher level skills. Students enrolled in level IV certificates have increased by 26 per cent compared to 15 per cent nationally.

The report shows that the majority of those in training in the ACT at this time are in industries that have been targeted by the government, in cooperation with industry, to address skills shortages. The ACT government has been working very closely with industry to identify training priorities and targets in the ACT vocational educational

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