Page 3756 - Week 10 - Thursday, 14 September 2017

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Community Service and CIT early childhood. The initiative is an important step towards meeting the forthcoming market needs in the growing north of Canberra, which will soon cater to thousands of young families.

Students studying their certificate III in early childhood will be supported by an expert team of qualified early childhood supervisors led by Canberra Institute of Technology professionals, including educator Michelle Armstrong. The fantastic initiative has been created with the increased economic potential of early childhood education as a growing area for employment and the need to support well-equipped and skilled graduates to, in turn, support children’s development and our future prosperity in mind.

All of the programs and initiatives that I have spoken about today have illustrated that VET is a critically important part of our economy and our tertiary education system. VET in the ACT opens up many important pathways for students to make their valued contribution to our community and our economy. Our government will continue to work with schools, businesses and industries to provide the best possible vocational education system in the ACT and support VET students to achieve the best possible skills and job outcomes, because it is crucial for the ACT’s future prosperity.

MR WALL (Brindabella) (3.59): I am pleased to speak on behalf of the opposition on this matter of public importance, which is about the importance of supporting vocational training students to contribute to the wider ACT economy. When it comes to the support that it takes to get through vocational training in the many formats in which it can be presented, I can largely draw on my own experience of doing school-based training through my college years, workplace training in hospitality, also whilst at school, as well as in a formal apprenticeship later on in my career.

As I said, vocational training comes in many shapes, sizes and forms. With respect to my experience, whilst in college I did a certificate I and II in hospitality and kitchen operations. That was delivered as part of a line item in my college timetable. Each week we piled into the hospitality classrooms and learnt those skills. Upon completing two years of study, those in the class all got two certificates which certainly, for most of my classmates, made it much easier to achieve a part-time job whilst they continued studying at university.

I took a slightly different route. I am amongst the minority in this parliament on a number of fronts, including as one of those who have not been to university. Instead my career took me through hospitality. I did retail operations as a formal qualification whilst working at McDonald’s and, later, upon entering my family’s business, undertook a carpentry apprenticeship. That sort of training in the workplace can be delivered in a variety of ways—through a partnership with a TAFE organisation like CIT here in the ACT, which is where I went, or with other registered training organisations that oversee the formal qualification components of that training.

Another one that is becoming much more popular is the role of group training. That is a method of delivering vocational education for people in the ACT that has great benefits, both for the trainees themselves and for the businesses that are employing them. The group training organiser is able to take care of the training formalities, the

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