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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 12 Hansard (Thursday, 25 November 2021) . . Page.. 3760 ..

opportunity to reach their potential is by delivering affordable, accessible and high-quality vocational education and training.

That is why we are committed to keeping CIT in public hands. We have seen governments around the country of the Liberal stripe that have been cutting their TAFEs. That is not what we want to see in Canberra. We are committed to ensuring that at least 75 per cent of total VET funding is provided to CIT. We heard Mr Milligan suggest that funding that was provided to CIT through JobTrainer should be cut and privatised.

This year we will provide more than $75 million in block funding directly to CIT through the budget. This significant investment is boosted by funding through our contestable Skilled Capital and user choice programs, as well as the recently expanded JobTrainer program.

The ACT government has increased investment in the budget in the Australian Apprenticeships (User Choice) Program that will see improved subsidies in the program to target apprenticeships in key skills areas that our economy needs. From July, the government increased subsidies under the user choice program for the qualifications with higher skills needs, in roof tiling and concreting, and increased subsidies for plumbing as well. We continue to invest in apprentices, whether they are at CIT or a private RTO, as part of the demand-driven user choice program.

CIT plays an integral role in supporting Australian apprentices and trainees, including school-based apprentices. It helps to upskill or reskill existing workers through short courses to keep their training relevant and delivers foundation learning to vulnerable Canberrans who need it, such as English language training for migrants and asylum seekers.

As negotiations with the commonwealth continue over a proposed new national skills agreement, the ACT government will be fighting every single step of the way to ensure that any deal we are offered by the Liberal-National government supports a strong public TAFE in the ACT, a strong CIT. We want to ensure that great training remains accessible and affordable for all Canberrans. We will not sign up to any agreement that delivers cuts to the CIT or our VET system.

The budget includes an additional $16.75 million for an expanded, extended JobTrainer program, delivered in partnership with the Australian government. The ACT government is funding half of it; the Australian government is funding the other half of it. The first stage of the JobTrainer program has seen more than 2,000 free training places taken up by young Canberrans and those looking for work to upskill or reskill for the jobs that our economy needs the most.

CIT has played an integral role in delivering the first stage of JobTrainer over the last 12 months, with more than 1,400 places delivered across full qualifications, online courses and pre-employment boot camps. CIT will continue to support the delivery of JobTrainer 2, the second stage, over the next two years.

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