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COAG training reforms welcomed.



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Media Release

COAG TRAINING REFORMS WELCOMED

10 February 2006

Minister for Vocational and Technical Education, the Hon Gary Hardgrave MP, today welcomed agreements in the area of training through the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Meeting in Canberra.

Mr Hardgrave said the breakthrough agreements, combined with the success of the Howard Government’s leadership in negotiating key initiatives through Skilling Australia’s Workforce, positions vocational and technical education (VTE) to finally address the inherent barriers to more people taking up training opportunities and their transition into employment.

“I look forward to the States and Territories now delivering on their commitments through Skilling Australia’s Workforce which includes maximising user choice for employers and New Apprentices,

more flexible employment arrangements for TAFE, full implementation of competency-based training and increased utilisation of publicly funded training infrastructure.

“The Australian Government, in partnership with industry, has driven change to make the training system more responsive and more flexible. This has resulted in the increased uptake of New Apprenticeships, increasing the completion rates of New Apprentices, increased VTE participation and a decrease in unmet demand. Through today’s agreement, industry continues to be an important partner in achieving reform.

“In order to capitalise on the Australian Government’s successes, the COAG agreements and the States and Territories signing up to the Skilling Australia’s Workforce Agreement, we are reaching agreement at a level of detail that will ensure that Australia’s VTE system remains at the forefront of our economic and social prosperity.

“I am pleased there has been this level of cooperation and agreement from COAG today and look forward to this level of commitment and cooperation continuing through the work of the Ministerial Council on Vocational and Technical Education.”

Full details can be found in the COAG communiqué - www.coag.gov.au

Media Contact: Suzanne Ferguson 0402 896 100

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