BILLS - Industry Skills Fund

Ms BIRD (Cunningham) (11:27): Minister, I am happy if you want to take these questions on notice to give as much opportunity as possible for people who want to ask you questions. I would like to get some information on the Industry Skills Fund that is in the budget papers. I acknowledge that its arrival has heralded the demise of $1 billion worth of programs and I note that the minister indicated earlier that some of his thinking was informed by the fact that some of those programs both had not started and had no enrolments. One would think that would be a fairly logical consequence of not having started, but I would appreciate it if the minister could indicate which of the programs that have been cut had not started and which had had nil outcomes. Secondly, in relation to the replacement Industry Skills Fund, there are industries listed as targeted in the budget papers, in particular, health and biomedical products, and I would like to know if that will also encompass skills programs with a broader health workforce. I am particularly interested in the emerging areas of employment opportunity into the future around issues such as aged care, disability care and the health sector care workforce in general. They had a significant take-up of the National Workforce Development Fund, so whether they are still going to be able to participate in the new fund would be useful information. I am also asking for that information in relation to the ICT sector, because the emerging ICT industry sector jobs have been important as well for many regional areas, including my own. How is the minister going to determine what exactly will be targeted under that program in terms of industry sectors?

The budget paper indicate that there are 121,500 training places and, it says, 74,300 support services, including mentoring and foundation skills. Is it intended to operate two separate programs for those numbers or is the 74,300 within the 121,500 and it is a joint program? What exactly is envisaged in that part of the industry skills fund? I am happy for you to answer those questions now or to take them on notice, Minister.

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