MS TIERNEY (Western Victoria—Minister for Training and Skills, Minister for Higher Education) (12:07:11): I rise to update the house on data relating to participation in the Victorian training system. Yesterday the National Centre for Vocational Education Research, commonly known as NCVER, released its report on government-funded students and courses for the first quarter of 2019. The corresponding full-year report for 2018 has also been released. In 2018 students studying in the Victorian TAFE network increased by 2.1 per cent—an encouraging result. The NCVER data for the first quarter of 2019 is even more encouraging. There was a 16.1 per cent increase in enrolments in TAFE compared to the first quarter of 2018, there was a 6.1 per cent increase in overall government-funded students across the state, female student numbers increased by 8.5 per cent, Indigenous students increased by 16.9 per cent and the number of students reporting a disability increased by 8.8 per cent. This is a significant turning point for our training system. This government’s reforms and investment in vocational training for Victorians are working, from Skills First to free TAFE. Students are coming back to TAFE and to training in record numbers in government priority areas. Our 2019–20 budget invests a further $231 million in Victoria’s training and TAFE system for more training places, to put two new early childhood courses on the free TAFE list, for the rollout of the Building Better TAFEs Fund and for the Big Build and social services higher apprenticeships. There has never been a better time for Victorians to get the skills they need for the jobs that this government is creating.
Tags: Ministers Statements