The Queensland government is celebrating the benefits of the vocational education and training (VET) sector with the launch of National Skills Week.
Training and Skills Minister Yvette D’Ath launched the event in Brisbane’s South Bank on Monday (August 24), and the politician was keen to promote the role of VET in boosting employment opportunities in Queensland.
VET is a key part of Australian apprenticeships and traineeships, as participants must receive both on-the-job and off-the-job training on the way to earning a qualification.
The Queensland government has committed $754.6 million to the VET sector in the 2015-16 financial year, which is an additional $139 million when compared with the 2014-15 budget.
“Jobs are this government’s number one priority, so it’s vital that we give people access to the training they need to gain real jobs and opportunities – regardless of where they live or their circumstances,” Ms D’Ath stated.
“It’s why we’re bringing back the highly successful Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative, as just one example, with its emphasis on community-based training and support for unemployed and under-employed people.”
Ms D’Ath said the scheme will help generate employment opportunities for up to 8,000 people in the state, enabling them to earn the qualifications required to begin a successful career.
Epicurious Garden sponsorship
On launch day, TAFE Queensland announced it would be sponsoring the Epicurious Garden in South Bank. The attraction is a ‘productive garden’, meaning it grows edible vegetables, fruits and herbs that are suited to the state’s climate.
Ms D’Ath said the sponsorship arrangement would provide significant opportunities for TAFE Queensland students, particularly those involved in cooking, horticulture and floristry training.
“Fitness students have conducted a yoga class here today in one [of] the quadrants of the garden. I can’t think of a better place to grow your skills,” she added.
TAFE Queensland students were also on hand to provide catering services on launch day, as well as perform various skills demonstrations for attendees.
A number of other events will be taking place throughout the state during National Skills Week, including the Hairdressing WorldSkills Competitions on August 30. Toowoomba will host the challenge, which will see Queensland-based apprentices and tradespeople compete across multiple hairdressing tasks.
Apprentices will also get the chance to experiment with various trades at TAFE Queensland’s SkillsTech open day at Acacia Ridge. The organisation’s wet trades facility is organising a Try A Trade exhibition on Thursday August 27.
By Leanne Macnamara, Public Relations Coordinator