MS TIERNEY (Western Victoria—Minister for Training and Skills, Minister for Higher Education) (12:04): Yesterday the TAFE network’s annual reports were tabled. As always, I am always in awe of the work of our TAFEs. They deliver for our local communities across the state and in doing so give Victorians high-quality training for the jobs that we are creating. I wish to highlight some of the key achievements over the past 12 months.
Firstly, government funding to TAFEs increased by over 18 per cent because, when you back TAFE, you will provide it with the funding it needs, and that is what this government has done. I am really proud that the Andrews Labor government stepped up during the pandemic and provided TAFEs with business continuity and crisis funding. This was critical. I can also advise that the TAFE network reported an operating surplus. This is a testament to the hard work of TAFEs and the support provided by this government. Victorians know we back TAFE. We do not just talk the talk. That is because we are proud of TAFE. Every single member on this side of the chamber is proud of their local TAFE. We know that they change lives.
I am pleased to highlight some other achievements. South West TAFE was awarded Australia’s best large training provider, Holmesglen proudly stepped up to support struggling students during the pandemic, delivering over 5000 precooked meals, Melbourne Polytechnic won a commendation for excellence in international education at the 2020 Victorian International Education Awards and TAFE Gippsland proudly stepped up to assist Mallacoota’s post-bushfire recovery in delivering construction induction card training. The list could go on and on and on. Our TAFEs continue to do incredible things. I am proud of them, and so should you be.