Page 4153 - Week 13 - Wednesday, 18 November 2015

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and their students is in the past. I look to the new board to set the standard and provide a new commitment to the delivery of quality education here in the ACT.

The campus modernisation being undertaken at CIT is yet to be tested. I await the outcome of the final plans for Tuggeranong and to see whether students and staff are well supported through that transition. But I accept that the institute needs to keep pace with the demands of a Canberra and beyond workforce.

Skilled capital’s skills and training policy directions paper has all the right words and includes all the things it needs to focus on. It is up to this government to now match the rhetoric with real delivery. It is not something for which they have a hugely successful track record but we can all live in hope. In the interim there are ongoing committee inquiries that are also shining a light on what needs to be improved in vocational education. When the committee concludes its hearings and the committee’s findings are determined, that will also add to the body of work ensuring that the ACT vocational sector is truly Australia’s best and most innovative, because that is where we should be and should aspire to be.

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Minister for Planning, Minister for Roads and Parking, Minister for Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations, Minister for Children and Young People and Minister for Ageing) (3.48): I am pleased to be able to speak to Ms Fitzharris’s motion today. It is an important motion this afternoon about vocational education and training in the ACT. Can I also add my congratulations to the ACT trainees, apprentices and registered training organisations who will be attending the Australian Training Awards in Hobart tomorrow.

Good vocational education is an essential feature of a healthy economy. Any strong, growing economy needs well-trained, highly skilled, good quality tradespeople such as plumbers, bricklayers, electricians, plasterers and, of course, mechanics. These are the trades that are so essential to our built environment and the ongoing economic and social prosperity of our community.

As Ms Fitzharris’s motion points out, the ACT is particularly well served by a high quality vocational education and training system. As this Assembly knows, I have a particular interest in the automotive trades. I would like to draw particular attention to the very good work done by the Canberra Institute of Technology in the automotive trades area. I was a student there some time ago.

CIT offers automotive technicians, apprentices and trainees wanting to enter the automotive industry an opportunity to learn their skills in a contemporary setting on the latest equipment, late model cars and engines. Experienced technicians can use CIT study to further develop and advance their careers by learning advanced diagnostic and repair skills. A wide range of career opportunities is available in the automotive trades. The practical hands-on approach used by CIT assists students to make informed choices about the career options available to them.

CIT automotive courses are not just about maintaining what is under the bonnet of cars. Courses offered at CIT also include options for maintaining motorcycles, diesel technology, forklifts, heavy commercial vehicles, automotive air conditioning and body work repair.

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