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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 04 Hansard (Wednesday, 6 April 2011) . . Page.. 1437 ..

MRS DUNNE: Minister, Minister Ellis’s statements were supported by Robin Crawford of GoodStart—

MR SPEAKER: Mrs Dunne.

MRS DUNNE: Do you agree with Robin Crawford when she said that it is wise to let centres retain childcare workers with 15 years experience but no formal qualifications, and will you acknowledge, like your federal Labor colleague, that the sector cannot afford to lose longstanding carers who lack formal qualifications?

MS BURCH: I do not think Mrs Dunne was listening to what I was saying before. We have been saying that we are—

Mrs Dunne interjecting—

MS BURCH: No. We are providing opportunities for recognition of prior learning, which goes to supporting those that have been providing excellent care and support to children and families here in the ACT. Some of those workers choose to undertake a cert III; some of them are choosing to go through to diploma level. It is about their choice. It is about us providing opportunities to match their choice.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Seselja?

MR SESELJA: Thank you. Minister, what have you done to ensure the ACT has in place a rigorous system of recognising the skills that already exist for those who are really qualified but not so on paper?

MS BURCH: It is through a process of recognition of prior learning that must be matched to accredited training modules. Here in the ACT that is through CIT; it offers that training. Also, a number of training organisations provide that. People in the sector can enrol in the course or they can elect to get RPLing. So that is recognised and they get their qualifications, or accreditation to the qualification, through that process.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary, Mr Seselja?

MR SESELJA: Thank you. Minister, has your colleague Minister Ellis taken what she said and implemented it as policy and, if not, what will you do to encourage her to do so?

MR SPEAKER: Minister, if you wish to answer the question, you can.

MS BURCH: It is hypothetical. I choose not to.

Members interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Order, members! I am concerned about the question because it is outside the minister’s direct responsibilities. But if the minister wishes to comment, she can. No, Minister Burch?

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