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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 5 Hansard (9 May) . . Page.. 1411 ..

MS DUNDAS (continuing):

I thank Ms Tucker for bringing to the floor a number of issues relating specifically to drugs of dependence-how they are being used by and prescribed to people in our community. That is another very concerning aspect of this debate. If somebody moves to adjourn, I will support that.

Debate (on motion by Mr Pratt ) adjourned to the next sitting.

Education-Standing Committee

Statement by chair

Ms MacDONALD: I seek to make a statement regarding a new inquiry.

Leave granted.

MS MacDONALD: At its meeting on 23 April 2002, the Standing Committee on Education resolved to conduct an inquiry into vocational education and training in ACT high schools, colleges, post-colleges, registered training organisations and adult and community programs. Particular reference was to be made to the effectiveness of administration, promotion of vocational education and training, current programs and the extent to which they satisfy demand and the community's needs, unmet needs and gaps-including service provision and areas not currently involved with vocational education and training programs-the role of industry training advisory bodies, new apprenticeship centres, group training companies, the role of career advisory and placement services, and any related matter.

With regard to the first of these, we are looking at the coordination of vocational education and training across the ACT. With the second point, we are looking at the current situation. That leads us to the third point-where we fall down, where our gaps are, and what needs to be improved in the ACT.

With the fourth point, we are looking at some of the players that are not training organisations-how they contribute to vocational education and training within the ACT, what their roles are, what they do, and how they progress. That includes areas such as industry training advisory bodies. Most people here know that I worked for one of those for two years. I think they are generally much underestimated organisations. That also includes new apprenticeship centres and group training companies. We will look at the present situation in those two areas.

With the fifth point-the role of career advisory and placement services-we are looking at that in both college and post-college areas. The committee feels we should be giving students in years 9 and 10 broader scoping information than the advice that they are currently receiving. They ask, "Which college will I go to? Well, this is where my friends go, so I might go there." Or, "The advice I'm getting from the career adviser is that, to get on in life, I need to do maths, science and English and try to get into university, when, in fact, I have no vocation towards that. That is not where my interests lie, and it is not where my talents are." And, of course, any related matter-just in case we missed anything in the first five points.

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