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Tuesday, 20 September 1994
Page: 999

Senator CROWLEY (Minister for Family Services) (4.53 p.m.) —I table a revised explanatory memorandum and move:

  That this bill be now read a second time.

I seek leave to have the second reading speech incorporated in Hansard

  Leave granted.

  The speech read as follows—

Commonwealth funding for the Vocational Education and Training sector for the years 1994 and 1995 has already been appropriated under the Vocational Education and Training Funding Act 1992.

This bill provides for supplementation to these amounts in line with price movements.

The bill also appropriates funding for 1996, in accordance with the Commonwealth's undertaking in the Heads of Government Agreement to establish the Australian National Training Authority to provide triennial funding for the vocational education and training sector.

1996 also sees further evidence of the Government's commitment to expansion of the vocational education and training sector through the provision of a further $70m in growth funds. This brings total growth funding since 1993 to $1.1 billion. The Commonwealth, in turn, expects States and Territories to honour their undertakings in the ANTA Agreement including maintaining their own effort in vocational education and training.

This bill also provides funding ($25.9m from 1994, including $2.4m for monitoring purposes) to ANTA for support for off-the-job training provider assistance under the Australian Traineeship System, Career Start Traineeships and National Training Wage Traineeships, including assistance for both public and private training providers.

As the Government announced in the White Paper, we are committed to the task of achieving 50,000 additional entry-level training places by 1995-96. An integral part of this is achieving an additional 16,000 trainees in that time. In 1995 and 1996, an additional $12.8m and $22.7m respectively is available for this purpose. When this is combined with the $70m growth funds that the Government is providing in each of 1995 and 1996, as well as the transitional funding of $20.4m in 1994 and $10.0m in 1995 provided in the Budget, the Government expects these costs to be more than adequately met. The Government expects ANTA to report separately each year on progress towards achieving a target of 35,000 trainees by 1995-96, under the $2.4m being provided to monitor these grants. The bill provides that these additional funds will only go to those States and Territories that are able to demonstrate to ANTA that they have achieved additional trainees.

This bill also adjusts funding to ANTA from July 1994 to allow the ACT to enter the national infrastructure program for vocational education and training. This places the ACT on the same footing as all other States and Territories in terms of national planning for vocational education and training facilities.

I present the explanatory memorandum to this bill and commend the bill to the Senate.

  Debate (on motion by Senator Panizza) adjourned.