MS TIERNEY (Western Victoria—Minister for Training and Skills, Minister for Higher Education) (12:30:47): I wish to inform the house about a pilot that is helping to break down barriers when it comes to obtaining work in the construction industry.
While there is a high demand for workers in this industry, thanks in no small part to the Andrews Labor government’s record-breaking investment in infrastructure, these jobs often require specialist knowledge and skills, even at the entry level.
Through the civil construction Skills Uplift project a number of training providers, including Holmesglen TAFE, South West TAFE, Wodonga TAFE, Victoria University, Aust-Link, MultiSkills and Foresite, will provide approximately 1800 students with the skills they need to obtain well-paid, ongoing work in the construction industry.
I am pleased to inform the house that this short entry-level course is attracting a diverse range of people, including older workers, women and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
Holmesglen has made the most of a pre-existing relationship that it had with corrections and has enrolled a number of students who have left prison and are now seeking to build a more secure future for themselves and their families.
One of those students is Daniel, who has said of his opportunity, and I quote: I’ve been through the dark days and come out the other end. I’ve changed my whole life. Now I have ambition, goals and I set my little targets and achieve them. Since completing the program Daniel has obtained a job as a general labourer on a heritage housing project.
Daniel is not alone in his experience. Many students who have completed the program have obtained jobs in part because of the excellent wraparound services that are available to the students who need them.
I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all those involved – the teachers, the students and the support workers – on a job well done.