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Tuesday, 21 December 1993
Page: 5552

(Question No. 745)

Senator Knowles asked the Minister representing the Minister for Employment, Education and Training, upon notice, on 2 November 1993:

  With reference to the 1992-93 financial year:

  (1) How many training courses were conducted for departmental staff.

  (2) Where were the training courses held.

  (3) What expenses were incurred on: (a) airfares; (b) other travel; (c) accommodation; (d) conference facilities; and (e) any other associated expenses.

  (4) What was the duration of each course (number of days).

  (5) How many staff attended each course.

Senator Robert Ray —The Minister for Employment, Education and Training has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

  The Department maintains consolidated records of training courses but many of its records on individual courses are not retained in a centralised form which is readily accessible. In accordance with the practice of previous Governments, I am not prepared to authorise the considerable use of resources required to obtain all the information requested by the senator.

  (1) In 1992-93 over 4620 training courses were attended by departmental staff. This includes courses conducted for departmental staff and individual attendances at external training courses. (Training courses have been interpreted as those providing eligible training under the Training Guarantee.)

  (2) Most departmental training courses are held in departmental accommodation. Information on other locations used by the Department is not readily available.

  (3) For 1992-93, total expenses incurred for training and staff development were $8,512,016. These are the costs identified in the Department's response to the Public Service Commission's Human Resource Development (HRD) Survey. The costs encompass all non-salary costs associated with HRD work including program development, costs of course design, delivery and evaluation of courses, purchasing, hire and maintenance of equipment, fares, travel allowance and accommodation and associated costs of HRD staff and participants, training films, renting and leasing of training rooms, fees and expenses paid to consultants, agencies, educational institutions, cost of administration of departmental awards and STUDYBANK and agency administration expenditure on Middle Management Development. A breakdown of this information into the categories sought is not readily available.

  (4) Information on the duration of each course is not readily available. Course length is part of the formula used in calculating total person days spent in formal training for the Public Service Commission's HRD Survey. For 1992-93 this was 73,406 person days. This includes training for departmental staff and individual attendance on external courses. (For the HRD Survey, person days are the number of participants by course length.)

  (5) Information on the number of staff who attended each course is not readily available. The number of staff attending each course varies depending on whether training is on or off-the-job, the topic and target group.