Page 4143 - Week 13 - Wednesday, 18 November 2015

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MR WALL: Minister, when will the successful consortium be announced?

MR CORBELL: When I told you yesterday, Mr Wall, that it would be announced.


MS FITZHARRIS: My question is to the Minister for Education and Training. Minister, it has been 12 months since you announced the new skilled capital program. Can you please provide the Assembly with an update on how this program is helping students and training providers and driving a new vocational education and training system in the ACT?

MS BURCH: I thank Ms Fitzharris for her question. I am delighted to provide an update on our skilled capital program, which has been a very great success.

Skilled capital is the ACT’s signature entitlement program. It complements the training provided at CIT and through the Australian apprenticeships user choice program, and provides the third main pathway to access government subsidised training here in the ACT.

The introduction of skilled capital is also consistent with our commitment to explore the benefits of contestability in VET under the national partnership agreement on skills reform. Most importantly, it is designed to respond to the ACT’s economic needs on a continuous basis.

As I announced when I launched the program back in December last year, skilled capital will provide $21 million over three years to skill Canberrans in the sectors that are the key drivers of our economy. Skilled capital is underpinned by a comprehensive evidence base to ensure the initiative is appropriately targeted to support high quality training in those areas of highest skills need. It is informed by extensive research that studied the experiences of other jurisdictions, as well as the extensive range of literature that supports best practice principles within the training sector.

This approach has ensured that the skilled capital initiative will increase access to training in the ACT in areas of skills need, provide students with the support they need to successfully complete their qualification, and reduce red tape for training providers.

Identifying skills needs is not something that is done once and then forgotten about. Rather, it is indeed a continuous process, which must adapt to changing economic conditions. As a result, the Education and Training Directorate is continuously reassessing the skills needs of the ACT, and targeting funding to qualifications that will ensure those needs are met.

Enrolments in skilled capital opened in February this year, with over 2,000 places available. In September this year 750 new places across 14 qualifications opened and between 50 and 90 places opened in each of the qualifications. This followed an

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