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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2019 Week 11 Hansard (Tuesday, 24 September 2019) . . Page.. 3774 ..

Maintaining our AAA credit rating ensures that our spending on infrastructure is more efficient. Our recent bond offering was fully subscribed—oversubscribed—and was secured at a historically low rate of interest. Standard & Poor’s has acknowledged our responsible strategy, noting that the ACT is budgeting for a large infrastructure program but our economic management means that our key fiscal metrics remain strong and worthy of the highest possible credit rating for semi-governments in the world.

MS CHEYNE: Chief Minister, how does the government support skills development to fill the job vacancies being created?

MR BARR: With so much growth we are seeing more jobs being created across our city’s economy. This is, of course, contributing to high demand for skilled workers to fill those jobs. Through the skilled capital program Skills Canberra is providing a range of supports for certain qualifications where there is an identified need. Skills Canberra works with industry and with employees to identify those skill needs.

We are also supporting inclusion and skills development in our workforce through a variety of grants programs. The mature workers grants program aims to address barriers experienced by mature workers seeking to reskill to take up a new job. The women in trades grants program is a significant investment that aims to boost the number of women in trades and to provide reskilling and upskilling opportunities for mature workers.

The ACT’s participation in the skilling Australians fund is supporting apprenticeships and traineeships, and over the past four years the ACT has demonstrated growth in apprenticeship commencements against a backdrop of a continuing national decline. Over that time period we have been the only jurisdiction in the nation to experience a growth in apprenticeship numbers. That is worthy of repeating: the only jurisdiction in Australia in recent time to experience a growth in apprenticeship numbers.

As our city grows we are expecting demand across industry to grow, and the government is focused on harnessing this growth to further diversify our economy and to give Canberrans from all walks of life the skills to participate in our growing economy.

Tuggeranong CIT—women’s return to work program

MR WALL: My question is to the Minister for Tertiary Education. Minister, the Tuggeranong CIT campus has for many years offered adult numeracy and literacy courses as part of a number of programs, including the return to work for women program, a program aimed at increasing skills for women returning to the workforce after an extended absence. Minister, will this course continue to be offered at the CIT campus in Tuggeranong?

MR BARR: I will seek advice from the CIT in relation to their intention about that course and course delivery locations. It is obviously not a ministerial decision but one that is taken by the institute.

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