MS TIERNEY (Minister for Training and Skills) — I rise to advise the house that the Andrews Labor government is putting people first with a multimillion-dollar boost to Victoria’s TAFEs. Over the past fortnight I have visited TAFEs across the state to announce some of the $89.4 million boost in funding to ensure that they are ready and fully equipped to hit the ground running for Skills First implementation in 2017. Over the last two years the Andrews government has been making good on its commitment to rebuild and restore our TAFE sector. The former government slashed TAFE funding, resulting in mass redundancies, closed campuses and neglect to basic infrastructure.
For the benefit of all members with an interest in TAFE and training, I am advising that to date I have announced $61.3 million to assist TAFE not only to recover but to thrive. TAFEs that have shared in this funding include Bendigo Kangan Institute, Chisholm Institute, the Gordon, Melbourne Polytechnic, GOTAFE, SuniTAFE and Wodonga TAFE. Further announcements will be made for Box Hill Institute, Holmesglen Institute, William Angliss Institute, Federation Training and South West TAFE in the coming weeks, ready for term 1.
This government is making sure that local TAFEs have the resources needed to offer first-class training now and into the future. This government understands that it is important for apprentices and trainees to have access to the equipment industry is using now. For example, Wodonga TAFE will fit out the institute’s new nursing simulation laboratory, Bendigo Kangan will buy a new portable emissions measurement system and GOTAFE will get a new fabrication laboratory and a digital radiography suite for veterinary training.
This government is ensuring people have access to real training so they can get a real job. The Andrews government will never apologise for investing in TAFE. We are putting the people of Victoria first and we are making sure that there is access to high-quality, industry-relevant training for every Victorian — no matter where they live.