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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 13 Hansard (Wednesday, 18 November 2015) . . Page.. 4144 ..

update of the skills needs list. To date, more than 2,000 additional new places will be released early in 2016 for the next major release. Since its launch in February, we have had over 1,900 skilled capital enrolments, with over 300 people already completing their qualifications.

Skilled capital has played an important role in engaging students from marginalised groups as well, which is underlined by the fact that 26 per cent of all skilled capital students have had fee concessions applied. Of all the students enrolled, over five per cent have been persons facing long-term unemployment, and about 3½ per cent were Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

MADAM SPEAKER: Before I call Ms Fitzharris for the supplementary can I ask members to make sure that their devices are on silent. We all make this mistake from time to time, but it is a timely reminder. Ms Fitzharris on a supplementary question.

MS FITZHARRIS: Minister, how does yesterday’s ministerial statement on Australian apprenticeships link with the skilled capital reform to enhance vocational education and training in the ACT?

MS BURCH: As I said yesterday, the Australian apprenticeships model in the ACT has remained largely unchanged for the past eight years. The changes we have made will bring it more into line with skilled capital and reflect our commitment to an evidence-informed approach to funded training. The revised approach ensures registered training organisations are paid fairly, students are encouraged not just to enrol but to complete their qualifications, and that the employment needs of our businesses as well as the economic needs of the ACT are being met effectively.

As with skilled capital, the new qualification prices under Australian apprenticeships are informed by a detailed understanding of the actual cost incurred by RTOs to deliver the qualification, as well as the degree to which the skills are needed here in the ACT. Higher priority qualifications are then funded at a higher proportion of the cost of training.

The new payment model ensures loadings are paid effectively to ensure target groups are incentivised appropriately. To complement this change, tuition fees are partially deregulated. As with skilled capital, this enables RTOs to charge different amounts for different qualifications and delivery modes.

Upon completing a qualification, skilled capital pays students a completion bonus. In surveys of skilled capital graduates, a majority have indicated that this bonus was a helpful incentive to completing their qualification. This approach has also been integrated into Australian apprenticeships. We look forward to assessing the impact of these changes on the delivery of Australian apprenticeships and anticipate very positive impacts on measures such as completion rates.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Dr Bourke.

DR BOURKE: Minister, how will the loadings in the new user choice funding enhance participation in VET in the ACT?

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