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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 08 Hansard (Tuesday, 15 August 2017) . . Page.. 2651 ..

to see a future life not just studying but working and living in Canberra beyond their study years.

MS CODY (Murrumbidgee) (11.00): I wish to highlight for the Assembly the importance of the ACT government’s continued support of the Canberra Institute of Technology. For many Canberrans the importance of the CIT is well understood and the quality and value of its training is appreciated. It is one of those reliable parts of our community, giving young people or those seeking retraining the skills to get a job, support their families and participate in our workforce. For many of those same Canberrans, the risks facing CIT without a strong Labor government are not as well known. Across our country there has been a crisis in post-secondary education; not a crisis that has been the fault of the students or the global economy or our brilliant trades training teachers. Instead, this has been a crisis brought on by governments, mainly Liberal governments, across our states and territories.

The Barr Labor government, through its support for strong, properly funded and stable training, has insulated Canberrans from this disaster. Training and apprenticeships deliver jobs; not jobs based on hand-me-down wealth but jobs for everyone—jobs for people like my uncle, who was a bricklayer. I have had the great thrill of meeting a number of bricklayers recently, who, without the help and assistance of the CIT and other training institutions just like it, would not be able to do their trade and do their trade well.

Yesterday we buried my aunt, who worked very closely with my uncle in his bricklaying business in Wagga. I was reminded of the importance of the work they did through his apprenticeship and through her retraining through TAFE in New South Wales. That gave them the skills and the ability to run a very successful business for many, many years. I pay tribute in Hansard to both of them for their long, hard work.

The sort of training that CIT provides is not something that can be caught up on. If it is not there when someone needs it, they miss out. When cuts happen, when bad governments get control, whole generations miss out. They miss out on jobs, and we all miss out on an economy with good jobs. It makes our economy weaker and our community poorer. I congratulate Mr Barr and Ms Fitzharris, and I congratulate all of their predecessors who have built and protected CIT when the fashion has been to smash training. This is a government that is keeping Canberra strong, now and into the future.

MS FITZHARRIS (Yerrabi—Minister for Health and Wellbeing, Minister for Transport and City Services and Minister for Higher Education, Training and Research) (11.03): The inclusion of the Canberra Institute of Technology in this portfolio of higher education, research and training was an important step in recognising the significant contribution that CIT makes to the ACT economy and its role in providing Canberra’s skilled workforce through the delivery of training and education. CIT, in its various forms, has been a part of the ACT landscape for more than 90 years, and the ACT government is committed to ensuring CIT remains the primary provider of high quality vocational education and training.

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