MS TIERNEY (Western Victoria—Minister for Training and Skills, Minister for Higher Education) (11:56): Today I rise to highlight the important role the post-secondary education and training system plays as a key driver to achieve gender equality in our society. TAFEs, Apprenticeships Victoria, Learn Locals and universities are instrumental in shifting cultural and societal change, and I am proud that Victoria is leading the way in achieving this with programs such as Respect and Equality in TAFE. The Andrews Labor government is committed to supporting all Victorians to achieve their career goals, and it is this government that is absolutely committed to equality and access.
I am proud that Apprenticeships Victoria is determined to break down barriers in male-dominated trades to support women to pursue more career options. The Apprenticeship Innovation Fund is providing $5 million to pilot programs to address gender imbalance. One such milestone is the Accelerating Women in Automotive program. This great partnership between Apprenticeships Victoria and the Victorian Automotive Chamber of Commerce was designed in collaboration with Chisholm TAFE and the Gordon. It gives women the opportunity to do preapprenticeship training in automotive servicing and gain hands-on experience. It will be instrumental in shifting positive change in workplace cultures and lead to the development of a sustainable model to encourage women to start a successful career in the industry.
International Women’s Day gives us the opportunity to continue to set the goals to achieve a society that lives and breathes gender equality, and it is this government that is doing the work to achieve this. Women have put on their footy jumpers, and we have proven that we can kick goals. Now it is time to put on our hi-vis and our steel caps and change the story with Apprenticeships Victoria and Victorian TAFEs.