MS TIERNEY (Western Victoria—Minister for Training and Skills, Minister for Higher Education) (12:25): Today I am very pleased to advise the chamber that Victoria will host the 2023 WorldSkills Australia National Championships. WorldSkills is the nation’s largest trades and skills competition and gives hundreds of apprentices, trainees and students the chance to showcase their talents across more than 50 disciplines, including carpentry, hairdressing, cybersecurity and health services. It is the Olympics for skills and training, and the sector is really excited by the opportunities this event offers everyone by profiling excellence in the vocational education and training system.
Regional qualifying competitions will commence in Victoria next month, and I am so pleased that there will be a special focus on school-age participants through the VET-in-schools competitions. VET in schools is reaching new heights, and this is due to the Andrews Labor government’s $227 million investment in this year’s budget to deliver the biggest reform to the senior secondary system since the VCE was established. I am proud that Apprenticeships Victoria is partnering with WorldSkills Australia to create these great opportunities for Victorians to represent not only our state but potentially the country at the international WorldSkills competition in France in 2024. This government support projects such as this because we know that skills and trades are critical for building strong communities, productive communities, confident members of society and of course caring communities. We know that skills and trades shape the world around u