MS TIERNEY (Western Victoria—Minister for Training and Skills, Minister for Higher Education) (12:27): Last week I was in Warrnambool to announce the construction of the state-of-the-art learning and library hub at South West TAFE as part of the Big Build apprenticeship program. The learning and library hub is an investment that will benefit all community members. It will be a key feature of Warrnambool’s cultural precinct and play an important role in supporting lifelong learning in the region. South West TAFE trainees and apprentices will have real on-the-job experience and will be job ready as they work alongside industry professionals to build this important building for local students and the wider community. Just think, the people who have worked on this great project will be able to go down Timor Street or Kepler Street and say, ‘I helped build that’. They will be able to say to their children who are sitting in the back of their car in years to come, ‘I helped build that; TAFE built that’—so special, so cool.
This training initiative is one of the first under the Victorian government’s $33 million Big Build apprenticeship program, and it is great to know that this is in regional Victoria. Each year up to 1500 Big Build apprentices will be supported to finish their course and get a real, rewarding, well-paid job. This is our government at work, creating real skills and real jobs and investing in our community. We are joining the dots. We have hand-in-glove initiatives that have training and jobs at the forefront—not just in mind, but in reality—and Warrnambool will absolutely enjoy this fantastic initiative.