11 March 2009

Hansard of the Legislative Council





[2.51 p.m.]
Mr FINCH(Question) - Treasurer, could you apprise me please of how the changed economic climate has impacted, if at all, on the post-year 10 education reform measures?  I am led to believe that the demise of TAFE has left a large number of questions unanswered regarding staffing levels and equipment, and I am told that many prospective pre-employment students will miss out on apprenticeship opportunities if these courses do not run.

Mr AIRD - I thank the honourable member for his question.  I have to say this is not my area of responsibility and that I will endeavour to find out from the honourable -

Mr Martin - It's the Premier's area.  You'd look after him, wouldn't you?

Mr AIRD - I would; I always look after the Premier and the Minister for Education and all the other ministers for that matter, as you would expect.  I have to take it on notice and get back to the honourable member with the detail.


I refer to your question raised during Question Time on March 11 2009.  As this question was not officially placed on the Notice Paper I believe it appropriate that I write to you in order to address this issue.

I have been advised by the Minister for Education, The Hon David Bartlett MP, that the Polytechnic is experiencing an increase in demand for training across the board, including in pre-vocational programs.  It is likely that some of this increase is due to the Tasmania Tomorrow reforms and the significantly improved access of young Tasmanian students to vocational educational and training after Year 10.  Some of the increase may also be the result of individuals looking to improve their skills and enhance their employability in light of the current global financial crisis.

The Polytechnic has informed me that it has the processes and systems in place for ensuring appropriate staffing and equipment levels for programs and that it is investigating all funding opportunities that will enable it to meet the increased demand including in pre-vocational programs.  These opportunities include the Australian Government’s Australian Apprenticeships Access Program.  It was recently announced that this program will be expanded by 3,650 pre-vocational places nationally and the Polytechnic will be working to ensure Tasmania receives its share.

Thank you for raising the question with me.

Michael Aird