Question: Vocational Education and Training Awards (21.03.2013)

Written on the 26 March 2013

Ms CROZIER (Southern Metropolitan) -- My question is to the Minister for Higher Education and Skills, Mr Hall. I ask the minister: can the minister advise the house on any forthcoming events that will highlight the breadth and depth of Victoria's vocational training sector?


Hon. P. R. HALL (Minister for Higher Education and Skills) -- I thank Ms Crozier for her question and her great interest in vocational training in Victoria. I am sure that we all acknowledge the extraordinary talent and dedication of the sector -- both students and staff and also providers in the sector -- whose achievements are celebrated continuously throughout the year with a variety of ceremonies and award functions. There was one I attended just last week run by the Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce in the automotive industry, and I know that over the next couple of weeks I will also be attending such awards for the construction industry as well as the furnishing industry. The talents to be seen at those award events are something to be admired.


The highlight of the year in terms of celebrating the great achievements of the sector are the annual Victorian Training Awards. This year we will see the 59th annual training awards being celebrated on 6 September. While that date seems a long way off, we are now seeking nominations for the various categories of awards. Nominations are now open and will close on 10 May, with finalists being announced on 21 June.


These awards are in different categories: six of them are individual awards, and there are a further eight group awards.


Some of the individual awards are selected from the 670 000 students who are currently enrolled in government-subsidised training across Victoria. In the TAFE sector there is a further quarter of a million -- about 125 000 -- fee-for-service students, and of course there are many other fee-for-service students in courses delivered by other private providers across the state of Victoria. The awards will also provide an opportunity for some of the 600-odd providers of training to win an award. The individual awards attract a fellowship in the order of $10 000, and I know there have been some outstanding young people who have participated and who have been awarded such a fellowship. Some of the industry awards cover categories like provider of the year, both large and small, and one in particular I want to highlight today is the industry collaboration award.


Last year the organisation that won the industry collaboration award was a partnership between the Kangan Institute of TAFE and the Council of Textile and Fashion Industries of Australia called the Textile and Fashion Hub project. As members will know, a tradition started by the previous government was the design of the attire for the presenting minister at these occasions, and I have had the privilege in the past to be dressed by the students of both the Gordon Institute of TAFE and more recently the Academy of Design Australia.


This year, because of last year's winner involving the Kangan Institute of TAFE, I am looking forward to the talents of students and staff at Kangan outfitting me with an example of the wonderful talents of the students.


I know that members who have had the privilege of joining me at those awards -- members from both sides of the house -- have certainly seen those talents on full display. I am sure the 2013 awards will be no different.

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