The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY (Leader of the Opposition) ( 14:37 :59 ): My question is to the Minister for Employment, Higher Education and Skills. Can the minister guarantee that the WorkReady supported positions funded for this year will train enough disability and care workers to meet the state's National Disability Insurance Scheme obligations?
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) ( 14:38 :19 ): I thank the honourable member for his most important question. We have carefully considered all industry needs of the materials that we have got right across industry in relation to the planning of our training activity and, in particular, the area of disability and community services. The government funding in the VET sector will adequately support industry demand for skilled workers in key disability and community services occupation in the coming years.
According to modelling undertaken by TASC, industry demand for skilled workers in disability and community service occupations requires the completion of 20,000 to 25,000 relevant VET courses over the five years to 2017-18 (or between 4,000 to 5,000 completions per year), taking into account the TASC modelling, which incorporates both publicly subsidised and fee-for-service take-up rates and completions. We are on target to ensure that industry demand for skilled workers in disability and community service occupations is met over the five years to 2017-18.
As at 1 September 2015, I am advised that 17,000 qualifications have been issued for disability and community service related courses, or approximately 5,600 per year since 1 July 2012. In recent times, DSD has undertaken a process where some inactive training accounts were closed. A review of all inactive training accounts was last conducted in June 2015 and the results were analysed in July and September. Taking this into account, there are currently 12,700 training accounts open with students undertaking training; of these, over 1,300 have been created since 1 July 2015.
In 2015-16, it is estimated the government will subsidise 8,700 training places for VET courses in disability and community services through TAFE SA alone. For non-TAFE providers, additional training places will be available through the Jobs First STL and also the Jobs First employment program projects, a submission-based element of WorkReady that will fund training courses and tailor employment projects where there is a much closer connection with a real employment outcome.
The PRESIDENT: Supplementary, the Hon. Mr Ridgway.
The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY (Leader of the Opposition) ( 14:41 :20 ): Does the minister know how many 457 visa workers are currently employed in the disability sector in South Australia?
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) ( 14:41 :30 ): No, I don't have that information and I don't know whether that level of detail is available but, if it is, I will bring that back.