MS TIERNEY (Western Victoria—Minister for Training and Skills, Minister for Higher Education) (12:43): Today marks the start of Adult Learners Week. Adult Learners Week is an annual celebration of the benefits of lifelong learning. This year’s theme is ‘Renew you’, highlighting the power of learning as a tool for improving lives and creating new opportunities.
We can all be very proud of the opportunities here in Victoria when it comes to adult education. All across Victoria Learn Locals offer courses to build people’s digital skills, literacy and numeracy. They also provide important employability skills and offer introductory courses, like hospitality and horticulture, to prepare people for further vocational education and to skill up for work. Whenever I visit Learn Locals I see just how important they are. They give Victorians who would otherwise never have it the chance to access training. They build people’s confidence. They help people to develop their social skills. They change lives.
I am really proud of the Learn Locals sector and how they have adapted to make sure that training continues during COVID-19. Learn Locals have stepped up and moved much of their teaching online. For community organisations this is not always easy, but we have seen the absolute drive and the commitment to communities and learners. During Adult Learners Week I encourage all members here to reach out to their Learn Local, learn about the life-changing work that they do and organise a virtual visit.
Under the Andrews Labor government Learn Locals are now a key part of the post-school training education system. They are properly valued. They stand proudly alongside universities and vocational education providers in skilling Victorians up for jobs. Happy Adult Learners Week, everyone.