Page 2622 - Week 09 - Wednesday, 7 August 2013

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MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Smyth.

MR SMYTH: Chief Minister, where will these additional students live, given the crisis in affordable housing in the ACT created under your government?

MS GALLAGHER: I thank Mr Smyth for the question. Indeed, both universities that I will be travelling with are in the position now where they offer an accommodation guarantee as part of the package for international students, and that is because we have worked with them to deliver student accommodation and accommodation through the national rental affordability scheme. Both the University of Canberra and the ANU do not see accommodation as a barrier.

But having said that, we are mindful of the fact that we do need to continue to focus on affordable housing, and that informs the work that certainly the Treasurer and Minister for Economic Development has been doing. I feel very confident that housing will not be an issue. In fact, it is an advantage that is not offered by many other large cities.

Employment—skills forecast

MR WALL: My question is to the Minister for Economic Development. Minister, the Education and Training Directorate recently published a draft ACT skills needs list under the heading “Forecasting of industry needs and entitlement” to provide what it claims to be an “adaptive and dynamic approach to identifying ACT skills needs at a qualification level”, which will inform the ACT government’s allocation of funding to VET training in the future. Minister, what consultations have you had with the Minister for Education and Training regarding the skills on the ACT skills needs list?

MR BARR: I think for five or six of the last seven years I have been the minister responsible for the development of that list and then for a period I had overlapping responsibilities both as Minister for Economic Development and as Minister for Education and Training. So I am familiar with the issues that go towards the development of that particular piece of work. I am certainly aware of the engagement that occurs at officer level in the development of proposals to be put to ministers. I am also aware that from time to time there are changes in the skill needs within our economy and that the capacity to respond to that through an annual publication such as the one the member refers to provides the capacity for there to be a quick response from government. In large part the skill needs for our economy will evolve over time, but we have the capacity within the education and training sector to meet those needs.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Wall.

MR WALL: Minister, are you aware that this skills list does not include almost all media, art and design subjects currently on offer at the CIT?

MR BARR: Certainly that would reflect consultations with industry and prevailing trends within our economy.

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