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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 4 Hansard (7 April) . . Page.. 1561..


As for the work force, we work hand in hand with the sector. The children's services forum, the children's services sector, knows that this is an ongoing battle. Strangely enough, the portable long service leave we consider to be a recruitment and retention strategy for the sector. Those opposite have no interest in supporting the sector with portable long service leave. As for ongoing support in recruitment, it is about training. We mentioned yesterday about the opportunities through CIT and UC. We also spoke about RPLing. This is just part of the ongoing strategy that this government has about supporting the sector.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary, Mr Hanson?

MR HANSON: Minister, is there a critical shortage of skilled childcare workers which must be addressed now, not when your calendar hits you in 2014? If yes, what are you doing about it now, in 2011?

MS BURCH: What we have done is worked with the sector on developing postcard or promotional material about a career in the workforce. We also have activities at career events. We also promote the childcare sector as a valuable and professional place to work.

MRS DUNNE: A supplementary question, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mrs Dunne.

MRS DUNNE: Minister, what have you done to satisfy yourself that staff shortages will not be a problem when your calendar head hits you in 2014?

MS BURCH: I will continue working with the sector and doing what I can to facilitate their workforce strategies.

MRS DUNNE: A supplementary question, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mrs Dunne.

MRS DUNNE: Minister, when will you actually listen to the community and act upon their concerns about skill shortages?

MS BURCH: I do listen to the community. I do listen to them regularly, and I do what I can as I can, which is why we have brought in the grants just recently. Going to some of the misinformation and misunderstanding on this from those opposite, my attention was drawn to this CityNews article from January of last year:

... Community Services spokesperson, Vicki Dunne, says the new National Quality Framework will inevitably result in increases in childcare fees.

"From discussion my office has had with Australian Childcare Alliance, a peak body for child-care operators, fees could increase by up to $22 a day,"...

Mrs Dunne: On a point of order, Mr Speaker, I asked a question about staff shortages. Ms Burch is trying to switch to another topic which she is more comfortable with, but


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