MS TIERNEY (Western Victoria—Minister for Training and Skills, Minister for Higher Education) (12:11): As our state recovers stronger and fairer, the Andrews Labor government is making sure every Victorian has the support they need to get back to work. Thanks to a billion-dollar boost TAFE will be at the heart of our economic recovery, and quality apprenticeships will be central to this task. That is why we are investing $33 million in the Big Build apprenticeships, placing TAFE at the centre of Victoria’s government infrastructure projects. This is a transformative approach to apprenticeships, one where there is a direct pathway with government oversight for apprentices and trainees to pursue careers on some of Victoria’s biggest infrastructure projects.
A forward-facing division in the Department of Education and Training will be established, where Victorians can go and get into apprenticeships and traineeships on key major projects. There will be a significant focus on getting under-represented groups on construction sites, such as women, First Nations people and culturally and linguistically diverse people. The division will make sure that those who are under-represented receive wraparound support and mentoring. A significant number of new apprentices and trainees will commence work and, in doing so, start a great career. This program is about getting local people into local jobs and addressing skills shortages along the way. It will make Victoria the place of choice for investment, because we will be known for having a pipeline of skilled workers needed for construction projects. By building residual skills in Victoria we will be a state where everyone knows they can get the job done. At the end of major government projects we can be so proud and we can say, ‘TAFE built it’.