MS TIERNEY (Minister for Training and Skills) (10:27:38) — I rise to update the house on the Andrews Labor government’s game-changing free TAFE for priority courses initiative. I was delighted to join the Premier and Deputy Premier at Melbourne Polytechnic, Greensborough campus, for the opening of the Banyule-Nillumbik Tech School, a campus reopened by this government after being shut by the former Liberal-National coalition government. This is the sixth tech school to open in Victoria as part of the government’s $128 million investment to establish tech schools and make Victoria the Education State.
At the same time, the Premier and I were pleased to announce the next 10 free TAFE courses for high-demand industries, ranging from community service courses to construction and cybersecurity. The new TAFE priority courses include the certificate III in commercial cookery, certificate IV in cyber security, certificate IV in child, youth and family intervention, certificate IV in youth work, advanced diploma of building surveying, certificate III in rail infrastructure, certificate IV in alcohol and other drugs, certificate IV in civil construction supervision, diploma of justice, certificate III in tourism, and two new preapprenticeship courses. The Premier and I announced the two new preapprenticeship courses — the certificate II in building and construction and certificate II in production nursery.
The announcement of the $172 million free TAFE initiative in the Victorian budget 2018–19 mentioned the 30 TAFE priority courses. This initiative that I have raised identifies the last 10 of those 30 courses, but it also adds two further preapprenticeship courses, of which there are now 20, making a grand total of 50 tuition-free TAFE courses available to Victorians from 1 January 2019.