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Australian Government invests $480,000 in Sydney Skills Centre.



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Media Release

AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT INVESTS $480,000 IN SYDNEY SKILLS CENTRE

August 4, 2006

The Australian Minister for Vocational and Technical Education, the Hon Gary Hardgrave MP, today announced the opening of the Inner Sydney Skills Centre, which will help meet vital industry needs in the region.

The Australian Government invested almost half a million dollars ($480,422) in this new Centre from the National Training Infrastructure Programme.

“The Australian Government is committed to supporting vocational and technical education and career options for all Australians, particularly the 70 per cent of young Australians who do not go straight from school to university,” Mr Hardgrave said.

The Hon Pat Farmer MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Education, Science and Training, represented Minister Hardgrave at today’s official opening of the Inner Sydney Skills Centre. The Skills Centre was jointly opened by Mr Farmer along with other new Dulwich High

School facilities including administration and visual arts buildings.

The Skills Centre has arms located at Marrickville High School and Dulwich High School, and include refurbished classrooms, state-of-the art equipment and resources to support information, communication, retail and hospitality training.

“This is an excellent example of skill centres assisting in the transition from school to work. Skills in these industry areas are in high local demand, and the Skills Centre will equip students for the workforce, and increase the level of participation of students in part-time traineeships across these sectors,” Mr Hardgrave said.

“The Australian Government believes that industry and the local community must have direct involvement in the development and delivery of vocational training to ensure that students graduate with skills relevant to the needs of the region,” Mr Hardgrave said.

Marrickville and Dulwich High Schools jointly developed the Skills Centre project in conjunction with the Australian Government to increase vocational and technical education delivery for Year 11 and 12 students attending government and non-government schools in Sydney’s inner-west.

Training at the Skills Centre is being delivered in partnership with TAFE, and will ensure students have access to nationally accredited qualifications up to Certificate II level.

Marrickville High School commenced operation of the hospitality component at the start of this year, and Dulwich High School commenced operation this semester. Both schools plan to promote their facilities to schools in the Inner-Sydney area.

The Australian Government is delivering a range of initiatives during 2006 to 2009 as part of its $10.8 billion investment in Australia’s future - the biggest ever commitment to vocational and technical education by any government in Australia’s history which includes:

• $5 billion over the life of the current Commonwealth-State Skilling Australia’s Workforce Agreement for the provision of training including through Registered Training Providers across all States and Territories;

• Establishing 25 Australian Technical Colleges across 24 regions to promote pride and excellence in the teaching and acquiring of trade skills at secondary school level at a cost of $343.6 million;

• Helping to ease the early financial burden on apprentices by providing apprentices starting an eligible apprenticeship with a tool kit worth up to $800;

• A $1000 Commonwealth Trade Learning Scholarship with $500 paid at the successful completion of each of the first and second years of their apprenticeship in an eligible trade with a small or medium size business;

• Extending the Living Away From Home Allowance to third-year apprentices who have moved away from home to take up or remain in an apprenticeship; and

• $10.6 million over four years to extend incentives for employers of higher level apprentices in key growth areas.

Minister’s Media Adviser: Nikki Voss 0402 896 100 Dept of Education, Science and Training: Media Unit 02 6240 7300