Page 1301 - Week 04 - Wednesday, 25 March 2009

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The CIT reports increases in the number of people in training. They certainly have increased enrolments. An example that I think is particularly relevant in light of the government and community agenda in regard to increasing the number of people training in the childcare profession is that, as a result of the federal government’s fee subsidy, we have seen something like a 140 per cent increase in the number of people in formal training in childcare. That is fantastic news for the territory. It means that, when the 900 additional childcare places come in line over the course of 2009 in this city, we will have an increased potential workforce to work in those centres.

Measures that the government can take both at the local level and at the federal level to practically enhance training are being taken up by the community. That is very good news. There are fluctuations, depending on the industry sector. As you would expect in an economy as diverse as the ACT’s and as diverse as Australia’s, there are differing trends.

We have been working very closely with the building and construction industry for a while. We are working constructively with the building and construction industry in relation to creating an out-of-trade register to ensure that those apprentices who are part way through their training and may find that their employer has difficulty, given current economic conditions, in maintaining that apprenticeship are then able to be linked up with other employers who will clearly benefit from the hundreds of millions of dollars of government investment in the building and construction industry.

Across the board, across all vocational and education training in the territory, that quarter did show a reduction. It is anticipated that, given the early figures on enrolment for the first quarter of 2009 at our public training providers, we may see a rebound in those figures for the first quarter. Nonetheless, the increased funding provided by the ACT government to the CIT, the increased funding provided by the federal government, the commonwealth government’s guarantee of one-third wages for apprentices to enable them to continue and see through their apprenticeship should combine to see a strengthening in our vocational education and training sector.

Of course the government, through the 2008-09 appropriation, provided more money for the CIT vocational college. The government has a range of commitments in relation to school-based apprenticeships. We have a program to target 500 school-based apprenticeships for 2009.

The government has a very strong commitment in the education and training portfolio. Within the department itself, we are currently employing trainees and will continue to do so. I also have a commitment in the sport and recreation portfolio to align some school-based apprenticeships with the sport and recreation industry. Overall, the picture is very strong for vocational education and training.

One of the key factors in relation to the NCVER report for that final quarter was the fact that our completions were much higher in that quarter. People were completing their training. As we have noted from unemployment figures in recent times, in fact they have then been moving into work. Of course, the ultimate purpose of a vocational education and training system is to ensure that we able to provide

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