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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 07 Hansard (Thursday, 1 July 2010) . . Page.. 3232 ..

“Ultimately” is not good enough in the year ahead. We need to see how the training and skills development in these new techniques will be incorporated into vocational education and training to ensure these desperately needed skills no longer are emerging but are embedded in our skill development and training.

This was confirmed for us in estimates when the issue of industry requests for sustainability training was used as an example of an innovation priority for vocational education and training. We were advised that sustainability, for example, is still relatively innovative in the sense that a lot of training is still unaccredited. It is not necessarily formally embedded in formal training packages yet.

Minister Barr advised us in estimates that under the vocational education and training priorities program there are about 10,000 additional training places over the next four years. We need to take advantage of this opportunity and get the skills associated with sustainability—skills that industry is asking for and that will meet present demand in our workforce.

In the ACT we are in the midst of a significant building period. Plans are in place to continue this into the future with sites in the south-west and north of the city. The Master Builders Association advised us there is a shortage of apprentices. They are allocating all of their apprentices to builders and have none left over where normally there are some available for builders to use at short notice.

The Chief Executive of the ACT Chamber of Commerce, Chris Peters, said in the Canberra Times last Sunday that the city’s skill shortages will get worse and the skill shortage will at least double in the next five years. Ms Jane Service, Chairman of the ACT Building and Construction Industry Training Fund Authority, indicated in estimates that we still have a number of skills shortages. Green skills around the use of solar energy, building and construction, and additional apprentices trained in these emerging skills, as the priorities report states, will assist the ACT to work towards a more sustainable future and address the skills shortages.

The government can achieve results in this area through the school and CIT system, the MBA and through organisations such as Actew and AGL as providers for electricity, natural gas and water services. Ensuring ActewAGL, Actew and others are encouraged to develop environmentally sustainable initiatives, which will see apprentices and tradesmen with green skills leading the way, is the sort of investment required for the future.

The opportunity also exists for the Department of Education and Training to work with corrections ACT to provide adult education and vocational training packages for the detainees of the Alexander Maconochie Centre. We are pleased to see the department has taken up the committee’s recommendation in this regard.

Madam Assistant Speaker, the ACT Greens will be supporting this line in the appropriation.

MR COE (Ginninderra) (12.42 am): As I mentioned earlier and as others from the opposition have said, we are taking turns to assist in reading Steve Doszpot’s speeches as he is unable to be here.

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