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Tuesday, 19 June 2012
Page: 7165

Ms BIRD (CunninghamParliamentary Secretary for Higher Education and Skills) (21:36): In acknowledgement of the extended time I will go to this briefly. I acknowledge that the member has had ongoing conversations with me since I have taken over this portfolio area about the importance of these two programs. For the member's information, it is the case that the Language, Literacy and Numeracy Program does target jobseekers and is an investment of $494 million over four years. The Workplace English Language and Literacy Program, the WELL program, targets existing workers, as he identified, and is $124 million over four years. They are both programs that indicate our determination as the government to address the very issues that the member has raised with me and to ensure that as we roll out the upskilling of our entire population there are not people who are left behind in participating in that because they do not have the basic language, literacy and numeracy skills. It is a very important issue and I commend the member for his ongoing advocacy. I assure him that the government continues to work very proactively in that area.

Proposed expenditure agreed to.

Debate adjourned.