Page 3760 - Week 10 - Thursday, 14 September 2017

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One of the features of this pilot is its flexibility in training delivery. We are fortunate in the ACT to have such a high quality public provider in the CIT. Under this pilot employers who would not have traditionally accessed VET to take on new workers have worked closely with CIT to develop flexible training that meets their needs.

We are, of course, all aware of CIT’s presence and position in our VET system. It is by far the ACT’s largest VET training provider, offering a wide range of courses, delivery styles, assessment methods, locations and support services. What CIT does touches on practically every member of our community. Indeed, most of us have a personal story to tell about a connection with CIT, as we have already heard this afternoon. We recognise how important this is and the need to support CIT into the future.

That is why we have committed to providing CIT with a minimum of 70 per cent of total ACT government funding for VET training delivery. We recognise the enormous change happening nationally in VET delivery and the critical role CIT has to play in shaping our economy and, indeed, our community. In conversations certainly with my counterpart ministers in other jurisdictions, given the significant reforms which have been detrimental to the VET sector in a number of other jurisdictions, the role of public TAFEs is as important as it has ever been, and a lot of jurisdictions do look to the ACT as a beacon in the VET sector.

Finally, the ACT government, along with other states and territories, is currently negotiating with the commonwealth to develop a new national partnership. The central part of that is the skilling Australians fund that was announced in the most recent budget. While the states and territories still have some concerns around the design parameters of the proposed fund, I am optimistic that a strong and collaborative effort will produce the right outcomes and system of support that apprentices and trainees need in the ACT and that the VET sector needs nationally.

We remain committed to building the very best VET sector we can, in partnership with our many stakeholders. At its heart the ACT government-funded VET system is people focused, working to ensure that every Canberran has the opportunity to reach their potential, contribute to the city and add to the strength, uniqueness and success of our city.

MR RATTENBURY (Kurrajong) (4.13): In my time in the Assembly, I believe that the subject of vocational education and training—VET—has been a matter of public importance topic several times, and for very good reason. As we have heard, the VET sector is a major contributor not just to our economy but to the social fabric of our city.

CIT, the largest provider of vocational education in Canberra, is an internationally recognised leader in adult education and also has a long, strong and proud record of supporting its students to overcome barriers to engage in lifelong learning. For that reason it is a large part of the Greens’ motivation for ensuring that the parliamentary agreement contains a specific mention: “to recognise that the Canberra Institute of Technology should remain the primary provider of high quality vocational training in the ACT, and to commit to maintain the CIT under public ownership”.

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