Page 1919 - Week 06 - Thursday, 9 June 2016

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The committee, in recommendation 4 of its interim report, noted that it could not report finally on this matter until a review of the CIT electrotechnology course had been completed by the Australian Skills Quality Authority—ASQA—and tabled in the Assembly. The report was subsequently tabled by the minister on 7 April, a matter noted in the committee’s final report. The ASQA review, sadly, did not provide the assurances and answers that the committee hoped it would.

The committee’s recommendations in the final report are four in number and focus on the committee’s follow-up analysis of the administration of the CIT course, and ways in which CIT can ensure that public and industry confidence in this very important trade course is maintained.

In summary, the committee recommends that the minister compel CIT to review each electrical trade graduate and provide an assurance that combined courses following the unexpected combining of the ElectroSkills and CIT course resulted in all students completing the mandatory components or units to obtain the electrical trade qualifications they were awarded. The second recommendation deals with the possibility that that was not the case and recommends that CIT should then ensure that those graduates are brought up to the skill level required.

The committee sought advice from CIT as to when a response to the interim report would be provided and was given the impression that CIT would provide such a response direct to the committee last week. However, the committee has since received advice from the minister that the response to this recommendation, together with the government’s response to other recommendations in the committee’s interim report, will now be tabled in August.

I understand there is a difference of opinion as to whether organisations like CIT are able to be asked direct questions by committees or whether, as with other public servants, all inquiries should go through the minister’s office. Notwithstanding this difference of opinion, the committee was frustrated in that it was assured several times that the response would be forthcoming, only to effectively run out of time in terms of the current Assembly. We have tabled our final report today. It contains an additional number of recommendations that may have been avoided if we had been able to get hold of what was a reasonably simple piece of information.

The committee recommendations, in summary, are that CIT should identify processes and assessments it has taken to ensure that all electrotechnology apprentices have adequately demonstrated the skills and understanding to have become qualified. Further to that, should the minister not be satisfied with CIT’s response, an independent, appropriately certified assessor or organisation should be commissioned to perform an audit. The response from CIT and the minister should be made to the committee as soon as possible and in any case by the first sitting day of the Assembly in August.

The committee also recommends that, in relation to any of CIT’s courses, now that what might be referred to, in education terms, as a 100-year flood having occurred—270 students entering an ongoing course—CIT should now be effectively put on notice to have in place some sort of contingency plan and a way of accessing the

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