Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Hansard Week 4 (9 April) . . Page.. 1212..
MR STANHOPE (continuing):
talkfest—the little brainstorm—that went on in the Liberal Party party room: "Look, we're going to do this ad because nobody knows who I am. How can I appeal to the people of Canberra and get my recognition rate up above 10 per cent?"And Mr Seselja looked around the Liberal Party party room table and he thought, "God, I've got it; I need help."
Mrs Burke: Mr Speaker, I rise on standing order 118 (a), which relates to keeping to the subject matter. He cannot because he does not know the answer.
MR STANHOPE: We all saw the ad.
MR SPEAKER: Order! Chief Minister, stay with the subject matter.
MR STANHOPE: I conclude on this point. We all did this morning, as we opened the paper and saw the ad. Every one of us saw in that absolute spiel—
Opposition members interjecting—
MR STANHOPE: You sure do need help, Mr Seselja—just look around you.
MR SPEAKER: Order! Chief Minister, resume your seat.
Vocational education and training
MS PORTER: Mr Speaker, my question, through you, is to the minister for education. Minister, with skills shortages of such a magnitude in Canberra, can you please inform the Assembly of the progress in vocational education and training programs that are aimed at increasing skills?
MR BARR: I thank Ms Porter for her question and for her ongoing interest in education and training matters in the territory. Due to 11 years of underinvestment in skills by the previous federal Liberal government, skills shortages have, along with high home mortgage rates, become a feature of the Australian labour market. Addressing the Howard Liberal skills shortage has, therefore, become a focus not only
for the new Rudd government but for the ACT Labor government, and we have been working both locally and nationally in conjunction with the Skills Commission, the Council of Australian Governments, the Australian government's skilling Australia for the future initiative and local industry representatives to provide practical solutions to our skills shortage.
VET institutions in the ACT such as the CIT, along with our high schools and colleges, are playing an important role in addressing the local impacts of the national skills shortage, particularly in the areas of building and construction, community services, health and education, finance, banking and insurance, tourism and hospitality, electro technology and utilities. Through the CIT, the ACT government is responding in a number of ways to the challenges we face.
It is fair to say that the CIT's effectiveness is evident from its enrolments. Despite the claims from the opposition of a fall in apprenticeships, last year the CIT had