Page 130 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 9 February 2022

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CIT, our public TAFE, our User Choice Australian apprenticeships program, our skilled capital subsidy programs supporting trainees, and other initiatives that support vulnerable Canberrans to connect with training.

Together with the Australian government, we are also jointly investing in free training through the JobTrainer initiative over the next 18 months. The second round, which has already kicked off, will fund up to 2,500 additional, fee-free training places for priority cohorts and in areas of skills need. We have already seen strong interest and uptake in these places, with several hundred Canberrans already signed up to benefit just six weeks into this year. This investment through JobTrainer builds on the more than 16,000 new and continuing students we expect to support in 2022 through our broader training programs as well.

There is a lot of exciting stuff happening across Canberra as we work to deliver more and better infrastructure for our growing city, while skilling up local workers to take on the many new jobs this will create. I know that we are all optimistic that 2022 will not feature the same disruptions as the two years before it. But regardless of what the year ahead holds, Canberrans can count on our government’s commitment to keeping our local economy strong and growing through public investment that builds for our future and makes sure that we have the skills that we need to support that growth.

MS BERRY (Ginninderra—Deputy Chief Minister, Minister for Early Childhood Development, Minister for Education and Youth Affairs, Minister for Housing and Suburban Development, Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, Minister for Sport and Recreation and Minister for Women) (10.25): I would also like to speak to the Chief Minister’s economic statement, with specific reference to some of the ways in which my own portfolio areas are supporting the ACT economy in the year ahead. Across all my portfolios the ACT government is investing heavily to support the ACT economy through some of the most challenging years for the Canberra community. I want to take this opportunity to talk about some of these key investments that I am responsible for.

The ACT government’s significant budget investment in school infrastructure will ensure that we can continue to build new schools where they are needed and that our existing schools have the capacity and facilities to support teaching and learning for all students. We are committing new funding to capital works over the next four years which will help build the new primary school at Strathnairn, in west Belconnen, complete the new Taylor High School and upgrade existing schools as the demand for public education continues to climb.

Education not only underpins our economy; it is the foundation stone of our culture and our society. What happens in schools happens in our community. Equity in schools will flow beyond school gates into our lives. The ACT government has committed more than $100 million over the next four years to roll out a series of initiatives to ensure equitable access to a great public education, regardless of a student’s background or circumstance.

Equity initiatives include more than $46 million over the next four years to provide funding for increased student demand and need; more than $21 million over the next

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