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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 07 Hansard (Thursday, 1 July 2010) . . Page.. 3231 ..

The minister, in launching this paper, said that there is much to do and much at stake; so we will take our time to get it right. But then he said that now is the time for bold ideas, now is the time for reform. We hope that reform of this sort takes place after proper consultation with all parties.

Another concern we have relates to the capacity of our present CIT system to deliver the training programs. From an answer to a question on notice following estimates we were advised that since July 2009 the CIT has delivered only 12 per cent of the productivity places program with 31 private providers delivering the remaining 88 per cent. This is something the estimates committee raised as well and we look forward to seeing what is planned to raise CIT’s ability to deliver a bigger share of these training programs.

I also raised in estimates concerns around the quality of training some organisations are providing and the importance of auditing all providers. I was advised that we are moving towards a national regulator for all vocational education and training providers and that this will provide the ACT with better outcomes. It does seem from evidence given that legislation to put this in place is some way off and some states may not be signing up to the scheme.

While I was assured there were no systemic training provider issues that have been identified in the ACT in the period leading up to any possible change in commonwealth audit arrangements, we will need to be continuing our audits and keeping the Assembly informed of progress with commonwealth legislation. The productivity places program extends over the next three financial years and a considerable amount of funding is involved.

We are concerned that through the estimates process there are a number of issues raised as to how results from the program were assessed and what accountability indicators might assist in the evaluation of outcomes. In this regard, we are pleased the estimates inquiry report recommends, and the government supports in their response, that accountability measures and outcome targets for the productivity places program be included in future budget papers.

In ACT annual vocational education and training priorities 2010 there is specific mention on page 11 of the implications for industry for training and workforce development of the growing focus on environmental sustainability. The Industry Skills Council has developed a definition which is shown in the priorities. It places responsibility for environmental sustainability across industry sectors. The priorities for 2010 state that many industry-specific responses to sustainability issues are still emerging from the intersection of industry and technical innovation, consumer expectation and government policy. The real concern is that we are moving very slowly towards getting these skills into our training and the workforce.

The priorities report refers to the Ministerial Council for Vocational Education and Training VET sustainability policy and action plan. It is concluded on page 6 that:

… ultimately units of competency with a specific focus on sustainability will be integral to all training packages.

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