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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 04 Hansard (Thursday, 22 April 2021) . . Page.. 1064 ..

be one of the challenges ahead for CIT in the development of its Strategic Compass 2025.

The broad comments that I have made concerning CIT largely hold true for the CIT commercial arm, CIT Solutions. The future opportunities for CIT Solutions will require innovation and imagination. CIT Solutions has recognised that it needs now to find low-risk, high-yield students who are smart kids.

Noting CIT’s successes, its challenges and the shortcomings that I have identified, I do look forward to seeing progress being made by the CIT and whilst it is a challenging environment it is also one full of opportunity.

MR DAVIS (Brindabella) (11.56): I rise today to speak on behalf of the ACT Greens as our spokesperson for education. The ACT Greens know that a publicly owned, high quality and accessible CIT is fundamental to building the better normal that we championed emerging from the pandemic.

We signed the Australian Education Union pledge during the election, and we made it clear that we believe that the best protections and support for CIT and its staff would be through the ACT Education Directorate. We would like to see future budgets and government planning consider vocational education as part of the broader education landscape in the ACT.

Like all higher education in Canberra and across Australia, CIT was hit hard over the last 12 months from a loss of local and international student intake. As the publicly owned and managed provider of choice for vocational education and training in the ACT, it is the responsibility of government to ensure that CIT is funded at levels that allow it to meet the vocational education and training needs of the ACT community as we emerge from the pandemic.

I am encouraged to see that CIT is a key player in the ACT’s take-up of the JobTrainer program and was a participant in the ACT government jobs for Canberrans program. I thank the CIT for providing fee-free training to over 110 students across the retail, tourism and healthcare sectors on infection control and for ensuring a continuity of service to your students over the last 12 months.

On a local note, I note that over the last few weeks I have met with the landlord of the Tuggeranong Innovation Centre who I understand is continuing to negotiate with the minister on the expansion of CIT services in Tuggeranong in particular. I understand that there is a raft of available space. Those negotiations are continuing, and I look forward to working with the government and continuing to agitate on the needs of my electors in Brindabella having greater access to face-to-face vocational education closer to home.

Vocational education has always played a fundamental role in tackling economic and social inequality in Canberra by providing opportunities for people to get a world-class education. That remains true now more than ever.

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Manager of Government Business, Minister for Corrections, Minister for Industrial Relations and Workplace Safety, Minister for

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