Dr WOODRUFF - The skills and workforce growth KPIs on page 282 of the budget, paper 2, show a decline in VET graduates that have been employed after training from 79.7 per cent in 2019-20 to 72.8 per cent in 2020-21. VET graduates with improved employment status after training has also declined quite substantially from 71.3 per cent to 62.6 per cent. What is being done to improve this trend?
Ms PATERSON - We can note that the contestable component of training to the private market in 2021 was 44.3 per cent of the training, and -
Dr WOODRUFF - That is a lot more than 20 per cent. What’s going on? Do you want to take this on notice?
Mr JAENSCH - I would be happy with that.
Dr WOODRUFF - Thank you. Are you still getting an answer on that other question?
Mr JAENSCH - That was the 2014 number you were looking for?
Dr WOODRUFF - No, what it is, what proportion goes now and how that's changed.
Mr JAENSCH - How that has changed over time?
Dr WOODRUFF - Yes.
Mr JAENSCH - So, it's 80 per cent now to TasTAFE.
Ms PATERSON - For the TasTAFE in 2020-21 it was 82 per cent of the total recurrent skills budget.
Dr WOODRUFF - Where was the 44 per cent you just said? Is that a mistake?
Ms PATERSON - No, that's in relation to the amount of training delivered.
Dr WOODRUFF - Right. I don't quite understand the distinction. Can you enlighten me?
Mr EVANS - It is a simple answer but it's in the middle of COVID-19. That is the major contribution to why those numbers decreased in those years.
Ms PATERSON - It is consistent with the national trend.
Dr WOODRUFF - The proportion of reduction is consistent with the national trend. And are you doing anything to fix that or nothing specific, or just general economy stuff?
Mr EVANS - They were the things we talked about. That's why we've set the target for 2022 23 back to the normal benchmark that we would be targeting against but the actuals in those two years fell away because of COVID-19.
Ms O'CONNOR - Thank you. Minister, according to data again, from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research, completions and training for non-trade occupations have declined by 10.9 per cent between 2017 and 2021; cancellations and withdrawals have increased by 22 per cent in the same period. Community and personal services workers, and labourers are some of the most negatively represented in the statistics.
Do you have an explanation for this trends? Are they mirrored in Tasmania? Is anything specifically being done to improve training outcomes for community and personal services workers, and labourers, in particular?
Mr JAENSCH - I don't have an analysis of that here with us at the table, Ms O'Connor. But we would be expect it with similar market conditions where there are more jobs than there are people to go around.
Just a commentary from the Department, circles back to those same market conditions and competition for people, and people being in a hurry to snatch good people.
Ms O'CONNOR - Given the workforce shortage in the caring industry -aged and disability care personal supports in particular - there is a forecast need, I think, in the order of some 10 000 jobs within a decade. Certainly, it is a huge area of potential employment and economic growth, as well, as being something that makes us a better society. Can you outline what the Government is doing to encourage people to work in the care sectors, make sure that the right training is provided and that we have the capacity to keep to retain those workers?
Mr JAENSCH - Thank you. We did partially address this in an earlier answer as well. And I had the opportunity to provide a little information, that over the past four years our Government has invested more than $21 million in training for the aged care and disability care sectors, and has allocated additional funding through the Rapid Response Careers in Aged Care and Disability Support program, and the JobTrainer Fund. In the 2021-22 state Budget, our Government allocated $3.1 million over three years to support TasCOSS and their Local Jobs for Local People project to grow the community services workforce as well. That's a different subset, but still shows many of the same skills. Skills in looking after people. It continues to be an area of rapid growth and need. We have a track record of investing. I wonder if you could comment on that, Mr Dreher?
Ms O'CONNOR - It's about how you address workforce shortages as well, because it is becoming increasingly a pressing issue.
Mr JAENSCH - And this would be an area where we sort of seek in one of those industry compacts to build on the workforce, planning and the shorter-term needs as well.
Mr DREHER - Further to that, and I am speaking just on the TasTAFE space, this is one of the critical industries for us and we have $5 million from the Government to establish a care industries centre at our Alanvale Campus, which was part of the election commitments, for the last election. The planning for that is happening at the moment, and whilst the centre would be Launceston based, it would be a statewide approach to how TasTAFE delivers its training for the care industries and probably looking at expanding beyond just those Certificate III programs that you talked about into higher level programs as well.
Ms O'CONNOR - Just quickly, what's the time frame on the care industry centre?
Mr DREHER - The planning is happening this year and we will look at establishing a small physical presence at Alanvale in 2023. Most of what we will do will then be around engaging with industry and delivering programs in flexible mode across the state and ramping that up into new industries - beyond the three that you mentioned as in personal, aged, and childcare.