MS TIERNEY (Western Victoria—Minister for Training and Skills, Minister for Higher Education) (12:32): Today I am proud to rise to speak of the outstanding commitment of our trade teachers and trainers throughout the state. Many trade teachers have been in the VET system for many decades and have witnessed firsthand the changes in training but also the evolution of industry and business. The one thing that has not changed is their commitment to impart valuable skills to students, apprentices and trainees. Good hands-on skills are valuable to Victorians looking to get one of our state’s in-demand jobs, seeking financial security for themselves and their families and gaining personal satisfaction too, not to mention contributing to our economy, which aims to create, fix and maintain important infrastructure and services through Victoria’s Big Build and other significant programs. Our highly skilled trade teachers are essential to the excellence of the system that challenges and surpasses international benchmarks, whether it be in design, couture, AI, drafting, horticulture or of course plumbing, carpentry, automotive engineering, electrotechnology and so many other industries. Our teachers and trainers are the lifeblood of the system. For this we owe them our gratitude.
One of the ways we show our gratitude is by honouring and supporting the system they advance and protect. That is why this government backs Victoria’s strong skills sector. We brought back trade papers. We established Apprenticeships Victoria and the TAFE teacher scholarships program. More Victorians are now beginning to see the value of a career in trades, and our teachers and trainers are leading the way. Their skill and commitment change lives. It goes to show there are many pathways to a great career. Today I place on record my gratitude to all trade teachers and trainers, who have brought their life and industry experience to the classroom and the workplace. I thank them for staying the course and making the significant investment with their time, their knowledge and so much more.