MS TIERNEY (Western Victoria—Minister for Training and Skills, Minister for Higher Education) (12:05): I am pleased to update the house on how the Andrews Labor government is building world-class training facilities in Geelong. Last week it was great to announce a $2 million investment at the Gordon’s East Geelong campus to build new plumbing and carpentry workshops. This includes 21 plumbing skill bays, an outdoor plumbers sandpit and new carpentry classrooms. The facility will accommodate up to 50 per cent more students across trade courses in Geelong. It is an important investment at a time when apprenticeships are booming in Victoria.
It is this government that has proudly restored pride in trades. Whether it be the establishment of Apprenticeships Victoria and a team of apprenticeship support officers right across the state, the reintroduction of trade papers or making sure that local TAFE apprentices are building projects like the Footscray Hospital, the Warrnambool library learning hub or the North East Link, this government is ensuring that trade qualifications are delivered by experts in state-of-the-art facilities and apprentices are provided with real opportunities that will lead to a great and rewarding career.
As Geelong and the surrounding region continues to grow, so does the demand for tradespeople, and that is what this investment is all about. It is about delivering a pipeline of skilled workers for all of Victoria. The Andrews Labor government is committed to the provision of a world-class TAFE system. And we are building real opportunities that benefit communities throughout Victoria and are a true investment in our future right across our economy.