Page 1329 - Week 04 - Thursday, 30 March 2017

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Vocational education and training

MS FITZHARRIS (Yerrabi—Minister for Health, Minister for Transport and City Services and Minister for Higher Education, Training and Research) (11.41): I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) notes:

(a) the importance of the vocational education and training (VET) sector to the ACT as a driver of jobs, economic growth and innovation;

(b) that in 2015, a total of 66 214 ACT residents participated in VET programs across Australia and a total of 9696 VET programs were undertaken by ACT residents with 1420 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ACT residents studying VET programs in that year;

(c) the achievements of the Canberra Institute of Technology, including the delivery of over 600 000 teaching hours to more than 2000 apprentices in 2016;

(d) the important contribution played by industry in training apprentices, the exceptional performance of ACT apprentices at the last Australian Training Awards held in Darwin last November with ACT apprentice, Shane Dealy, named the 2016 Australian Apprentice of the Year, and ACT Australian School-based Apprentice, Madeline Wallace, named as runner-up in the schools’ category;

(e) that through the National Partnership Agreement (NPA) on Skills Reform, the Australian Government has committed $1.75 billion over five years (2012-17) to work with States and Territories to drive reform of the national training system;

(f) the ACT training sector has received $28 million of funding through this NPA since 2012;

(g) that Commonwealth funding for the NPA on Skills Reform expires in June 2017;

(h) that the Commonwealth has refused to schedule a meeting of Skills and Training Ministers to discuss any future agreement or funding for continuing Commonwealth funding for this essential education program; and

(i) demands made by business groups, including the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, AI Group and Business Council of Australia, for the Commonwealth Government to recommit to full funding of a new NPA on Skills Reform; and

(2) calls for:

(a) the ACT Government to again write to the Federal Government to urgently recommit to a new NPA on Skills to take effect from July 2017 with funding levels at least maintained at current levels; and

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