MS TIERNEY (Western Victoria—Minister for Training and Skills, Minister for Higher Education) (12:30): As Minister for Training and Skills and Minister for Higher Education I am focused on ensuring that universities and the VET sector work in unison to deliver the research to create new industries and provide the highest quality training in skills to guarantee the pipeline of workers now and into the future. This government is committed to ensuring that industry development and skills are absolutely aligned. There is no more important sector to apply this collaboration than the clean economy. The Victorian Higher Education State Investment Fund has accelerated collaboration in research and development in clean technologies. One such project is the electrification of Victoria’s future fleet. RMIT, Monash and La Trobe universities have united to establish a living lab which will support Victoria’s transition to a zero-emissions fleet, including public transport.
Of course we recognise we need skilled workers in these new technologies, and that is why the Andrews Labor government is fostering the next generation of automotive workers. We are investing $1.3 million in Kangan TAFE’s Automotive Centre of Excellence at Docklands as part of the $12 million TAFE Equipment and Facilities Fund. Students will now have access to the best equipment to hone their skills on a variety of vehicle models, from a 20-year-old hybrid Toyota Prius to a 2022 Tesla and other clean, green cars. This government has made a record investment of $3.2 billion to rebuild TAFE and support universities to ensure all Victorians have access to high-quality education and a strong career pathway now and into the future.