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Wednesday, 23 October 1974
Page: 1871

Senator MELZER - My question is directed to the Minister representing the Minister for Education. Did the Minister see the report of the Apprenticeship Commission of Victoria in which it was disclosed that Victorian industry had a record growth of apprentices in the past financial year but that many of them were unable to begin their technical training because of the serious deficiencies in facilities in technical colleges? As the Victorian Government has proved incapable of coping with this situation, can the Minister inform the Senate of the steps being taken by the Australian Government to assist in this situation?

Senator Douglas McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for the Media) - I know that my colleague the Minister for Education, Mr Beazley, is aware of the reports of deficiencies in the facilities of Victorian technical colleges and of the implications of those deficiencies for the training of apprentices. I understand that he has had some consultation with my colleague the Minister for Labor and Immigration on this matter. The Minister for Education and the Australian Government regard the technical college section of apprenticeship training as quite important and believe that the facilities in technical colleges should be improved. The Australian Committee on Technical and Further Education was established by the Government for the purpose of recommending programs in support of technical college facilities. The $ 10Om program now being brought into effect by the Australian Government in this area will undoubtedly lead to very substantial improvements in institutional facilities for technical training purposes in Australia. I understand that this overall program of $ 100m includes an amount of approximately $24m to improve technical training facilities in Victoria over the next 2 years.

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