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Skills, Training and Workforce Growth – Skills Priorities

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Wednesday, 8 June 2022

Tags: Vocational Education

Dr WOODRUFF - Minister, the SKILL UP program at TasTAFE which offers no fee courses to eligible Tasmanian students provides courses available limited to civil construction, digital skills, viticulture and hospitality. Why were those four areas prioritised and what was the process to determine the eligible areas of training?

Mr DREHER - The areas chosen were chosen basically for the needs of the industry in those areas. That was a negotiated process with State Growth or Skills Tasmania. Again, we have another set coming on stream mid year this year. We have added digital skills again, based on the needs of industry. What industry are wanting are these short, sharp courses to retrain people quite quickly.

Dr WOODRUFF - It sounds as though the process was that industry came to Government with their requests. Are there other critical courses that Tasmania could benefit from, for example, in the care sector. Did those care industries know there was an option to put forward ideas for Skill Up training? Were they actively approached by State Growth? It sounds like whoever had the ear of the minister got the courses they wanted. It does not sound like it was a fair and open process.

I have no problem with industries being able to say what they need as long as all industries get to have a say and a share of their skills that TasTAFE can provide.

Mr JAENSCH - We support skills development through nationally recognised training in the aged care and disability sector amongst others. Over the past four years, the Government has invested more than $21 million in training for the sector supporting nearly 5000 learners. In recognition of acute levels of demand, the Government allocated additional funding through the rapid response careers in the aged care and disability support program and the JobTrainer fund. In the 2021 22 state budget, the Government allocated $3.115 million over three years to support TasCOSS, local people into local jobs projects to grow the community services workforce.

We are aware this is a very fast growing area with demand. We are very keen for TasTAFE to have relationships with all sectors where there are skills needs and pressures, and for us to be seen as an important sector.

Dr WOODRUFF - The difference with Skill Up is it is free - it is a no fee situation. There is a lot of stuff TasTAFE is providing, but it is the no fee. Would you consider extending the program to other critical courses so other sectors can take advantage of no fee courses or better still make all courses free for Tasmanian students?

Mr DREHER - I will not comment on your last comment.

Dr WOODRUFF - Why not?

Mr DREHER - We certainly had health included in phase2 of Skill Up programs, medical terminology included in phase 2 of Skill Up programs. Those industries did put forward the areas of concern to them where they wanted Skill Up programs. They have been in the Skill Up area already.

Dr WOODRUFF - Environmental health.

Mr DREHER - As we go forward we are including vineyard skill set plus some more working in the agriculture area. It is quite broad.