Page 3136 - Week 08 - Thursday, 25 June 2009
clearly a big demand for these skills. In this regard, federal funding of more than $6 million provided last week under the federal government’s training infrastructure for tomorrow program to build a new sustainability skills training hub at the CIT’s Bruce campus is also welcome.
This building will be used to train students in the installation, testing and maintenance of the latest green building materials. The COAG productivity places program, which seeks to deliver 10,000 additional training places in the ACT for existing workers and job seekers, will present some challenges, we expect. We note from Ms Davy’s response at estimates that the ACT government has only recently signed up to that productivity places program, so we are just starting to work with the commonwealth around developing an implementation plan around that.
Ms Davy also indicated that we may need to negotiate some of the targets in terms of numbers around those places. Our concern relates to the ability of our system to source the 10,000 students, the resources needed to deliver the training programs and the infrastructure to train and house the additional students. We look forward to seeing how the minister and the department approach this challenge so that the ACT can capitalise on the COAG program and build on our skills in the ACT.
The increase in school-based apprenticeships for an additional 100 places to enable year 12 students to engage in paid work, training and study and achieve a nationally recognised vocational qualification is needed, particularly in light of the minister indicating he is moving to increase the school leaving age to 17. Minister Barr also advised in estimates that the additional 100 students will be based in schools and the central office of the Department of Education and Training. Again, operationally there is a clear need to look at the issues that arise when 200 students will need training places or work in the ACT.
Other initiatives which centre on supporting apprentices to stay in work and assist with materials and fees in areas of skill shortages are welcome. We would like to see, however, the government advise the Assembly on the areas that are highlighted as being short on skills. In particular, in the current economic climate we would like to know whether building trades, nursing, childcare, community services and age care are affected and, if so, what specific strategies are being put in place to attract people to acquire the skills necessary to take up employment in these areas. The ACT Greens will be supporting this line in the appropriation bill.
Proposed expenditure agreed to.
Proposed expenditure—Part 1.22—Cultural Facilities Corporation, $7,435,000 (net cost of outputs) and $2,222,000 (capital injection), totalling $9,657,000.
MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (1.25 am): The sorry tale for the people of the ACT, and indeed all Australians, is the government’s handling of the Nolan Gallery at Lanyon and the commonwealth’s Nolan collection of which the territory is custodian, not owner. This has been a sorry tale from the beginning. We have to ask: why did the Nolan Gallery close? It has been said it was because of high humidity levels and declining visitor numbers. In a climate as dry as Canberra it is hard to fathom the