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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 12 Hansard (Tuesday, 23 November 2021) . . Page.. 3537 ..

$16.75 million investment in this year’s budget. Delivered in partnership with the Australian government, JobTrainer will provide up to 2,500 free training places over the next two years. These places are in addition to the more than 2,000 places that have already been taken up through the first stage of JobTrainer, from short courses right through to full qualifications, which have been very popular under the scheme.

The new funding will support young people and those leaving school, which is particularly important at this time of year as young Canberrans consider what their first steps into the world of work will look like. JobTrainer 2 will also focus on providing training to other vulnerable Canberrans who are struggling to find a job—those who may have lost employment during the pandemic, and are looking to skill up or retrain to move into the workforce.

JobTrainer will provide a mix of full qualifications and short courses, with 575 training places reserved for aged care and 170 places reserved for digital skills. For the first time, eligibility for free training under JobTrainer will be extended to all Canberrans, regardless of age or employment status, in the areas of aged care, early childhood and digital skills. This recognises the shortage of qualified workers and the expected strong growth in these industry sectors in the years ahead.

The ACT has seen strong and sustained growth in apprentices and trainees on the job. Currently, our numbers are at a four-year high. The government’s investment in apprenticeships and traineeships will continue to grow Canberra’s skilled workforce in priority occupations and industry areas.

In addition to these great investments, we are delivering a brand-new campus at Woden for our public TAFE provider, the Canberra Institute of Technology, giving them the modern, flexible teaching and learning facilities that are needed to keep delivering high-quality vocational education and training in the years to come. In the interests of time I will speak about that under the CIT section.

MR CAIN (Ginninderra) (4.53): I am speaking in my capacity as assistant shadow treasurer, shadow minister for regulatory services and shadow minister for jobs and workplace affairs inasmuch as those roles touch on part 1.5 of the bill.

It is my hope—obviously, we will see how these hopes are realised or met—that with this current appropriation, and going forward, the government will have a more visionary approach to jobs in the ACT; and, in particular, to diversifying our employment opportunities and developments.

We have a jobs and economic recovery plan glossy brochure. It is disappointing that the Future Jobs Fund has been shelved. It seems to me that the government is overly comfortable with its reliance on heavy commonwealth public service investment in both employment and contract services in the territory.

As we have seen during the lockdown and restrictions under COVID, it is the private business sector and jobs market that is most severely impacted by both restrictions and, I would suggest, other things that are real possibilities to affect the private and public sector market in Canberra.

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