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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 08 Hansard (Tuesday, 9 August 2016) . . Page.. 2456 ..

MS FITZHARRIS (Molonglo—Minister for Higher Education, Training and Research, Minister for Transport Canberra and City Services and Assistant Minister for Health) (12.03): I am very pleased to rise this morning to speak to the budget allocation for the Canberra Institute of Technology. I note, sadly, that the opposition appear not to be supporting the Canberra Institute of Technology and not supporting the passage of this budget today.

I will comment on some of Mr Doszpot’s points. Although I note that he has spoken significantly and at length about the Canberra Institute of Technology over the course of this term, it was the tone of that discussion that was more notable. I would acknowledge you, Madam Deputy Speaker, as having spoken, I would say, more frequently and more in support of the Canberra Institute of Technology, over the course of this parliament.

As you know, the CIT is the ACT’s largest provider of vocational education and training and our only public TAFE, enrolling more than 22,000 students each year and offering a wide variety of courses in the ACT. I am sure that, irrespective of whether you are a recent school leaver or someone looking to reskill or upskill, CIT will be able to help you with the skills you need to find employment or just to build on an existing knowledge and skills base.

CIT plays a very important role in this city. Beyond the benefits it provides to individual Canberrans, it has delivered great economic benefit to our city. It is vitally important for the diversification of Canberra’s economy that we have a high-performing VET sector that allows our skilled community to contribute to the economic prosperity and social engagement of our city.

Ensuring that Canberrans have access to high quality skills development through a vocational qualification is a critical part of our economic development. Our highly skilled workforce is one of the advantages that Canberra has to offer and has allowed us to attract a wide variety of new industries. A great example of this is the role CIT is playing in the development of renewable energy in the ACT, through, as Mr Doszpot said, the CIT Renewable Energy Skills Centre of Excellence. Through this centre, CIT is working with industry to ensure that we have qualified and skilled people to deliver on our clean energy future.

CIT is a key player in the VET sector and, not surprisingly, has a solid and well-deserved reputation in the Canberra community. In contrast to Mr Doszpot’s comments, in 2015 student satisfaction at CIT was at a rate of 93 per cent and employer satisfaction at a rate of 87 per cent, and the graduate employment rate of 83.5 per cent compared to only 74.3 per cent nationally.

CIT is an institution that we can all take pride in, which is why the ACT government continues to support CIT by providing close to $70 million annually for agreed outputs as detailed in the statement of intent and supported through the ACT government skills list.

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