VOCATIONAL EDUCATION AND TRAINING

The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY (Leader of the Opposition) ( 14:27 :14 ): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Minister for Employment, Higher Education and Skills a question about training.

Leave granted.

The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY: Evidence presented to the Budget and Finance Committee shows that the baseline number of training places prior to Skills for All was some 86,561, which is 5,561 more than the 81,000 places that are now promised. Can the minister explain why she has claimed that changes to the vocational training funding would see a return to the sustainable levels of training effort that existed prior to Skills for All when, in actual fact, there are now fewer places funded?

The Hon. G.E. GAGO (Minister for Employment, Higher Education and Skills, Minister for Science and Information Economy, Minister for the Status of Women, Minister for Business Services and Consumers) ( 14:27 :58 ): The information that I have is that the total number of training places provided pre Skills for All, which was 65.4—

The Hon. D.W. Ridgway: What, 65.4 positions?

The Hon. G.E. GAGO: Thousands; it is 65.4 thousand. In 2015-16 it is planned to have 80.4, so the honourable member is just completely wrong.

The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY (Leader of the Opposition) ( 14:28 :43 ): There was evidence given by the agency to the Budget and Finance Committee, I think in 2013, that says that the figures were 86,561, which is 5,560 more than the 80.4 or the 80,400 now promised. So are you suggesting that the evidence that was given to the Budget and Finance Committee was incorrect?

The Hon. G.E. GAGO (Minister for Employment, Higher Education and Skills, Minister for Science and Information Economy, Minister for the Status of Women, Minister for Business Services and Consumers) ( 14:29 :10 ): The numbers that I have been given are quite clear. The pre Skills for All, which was prior to 2012-13, was 65,000—

The Hon. R.I. Lucas interjecting:

The PRESIDENT: The Hon. Mr Lucas, if you want to ask a question, ask a supplementary; do not do it while she is trying to reply.

The Hon. G.E. GAGO: Skills For All was introduced in 2012-13. So, pre Skills for All would be the financial year prior to that, which would be 2011-12. So, that is pre Skills for All. Skills for All was introduced in 2012-13. The training hours then shot up to 104, which is not surprising—huge amounts of additional money were made available.

Pre Skills for All was 65.4. The proposed training for a number of subsidised training places available for 2015-16 is 80.4, so approximately 81,000. It is above pre Skills for All training levels and so, too, the funding continues to be above pre Skills for All. It was sitting on about $259 million, and in 2015-16 the proposed figure is $285 million. There is some more money in the training system, more training activity than pre Skills for All and, as we said, Skills for All was the result of significant additional once-off money being made available to the system to enable us to achieve our goal of 100,000 additional training places.

The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY (Leader of the Opposition) ( 14:31 :04 ): Given the confusion around the document the minister has—

The Hon. G.E. Gago: You're just wrong; you're always wrong.

The PRESIDENT: Order!

The Hon. J.M.A. Lensink interjecting:

The PRESIDENT: Order!

The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY: Given the confusion around the document the minister is quoting from, will the minister table the document?

The Hon. G.E. GAGO (Minister for Employment, Higher Education and Skills, Minister for Science and Information Economy, Minister for the Status of Women, Minister for Business Services and Consumers) ( 14:31 :22 ): I am happy to make the source of these documents available.

Members interjecting:

The PRESIDENT: The Hon. Mr Lucas, a supplementary question?

Members interjecting:

The PRESIDENT: Order!

Members interjecting:

The Hon. G.E. Gago: I haven't quoted from the document.

The Hon. D.W. Ridgway: You have; you were just reading from it then. You were reading from a document.

The PRESIDENT: Order! In order for the minister to table that document there has to be a motion. The Hon. Mr Lucas.

 

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