Ms VAGHELA (Western Metropolitan) (19:00): My adjournment question is for the Minister for Training and Skills, the Honourable Gayle Tierney. The action I seek is for further detail on the budget announcement in relation to training provision in Melton. As members will have heard me say on many occasions, Melton is one of Victoria’s fastest growing areas. That means we need to plan and invest in the facilities that will be needed to support the many families that are choosing to make their new home in Western Metropolitan Region and the broader Melton City Council. In this place we know that education and training have the ability to change the course of young people’s lives to ensure they get every chance to go on to good, well-paying, secure jobs and rewarding and fulfilling careers and lives. But to do so we need local options available so that parents and students can make the choice that best suits them, whether that is going on to further study at TAFE or university or the many options to learn on the job through apprenticeships and traineeships.
Therefore I was delighted to see that the recent 2021–22 Victorian state budget announced that $250,000 is being made available to support planning for training provision in Melton. This is the start of a process to make sure we can support everyone in our community with facilities and services much closer to home. I know that many locals are excited to learn more about this announcement and when they can get involved in this important conversation. Therefore I seek an update from the minister on this important work to be undertaken and how this will kickstart a process to ensure the community has access to local training that leads to local jobs.
Gayle Tierney MP Minister for Training and Skills, Minister for Higher Education (9 July 2021):
I thank the Member for the important question.
I’m pleased the Andrews Labor Government is investing in a business case for TAFE in Melton.
The City of Melton is one of the fastest growing municipalities in Victoria. And the area is expected to grow significantly into the future. It is projected that the number of young people in the area will grow by 79% in the next 8 years. Given the size of the community, it is concerning that people living within the area have no local access to TAFE.
It should also be noted that Melton had the lowest share of 20 to 24 year old residents with a year 12 or higher qualification compared to other municipalities in Victoria.
The Andrews Labor government is funding a business case for TAFE provision in Melton. It’s an important next step, and builds on this government’s investments in the area such as projects like the new Melton Hospital.
The business case will research the need for a TAFE campus in this growing municipality and present a report to the government to review.
I want to acknowledge the important work of Steve McGhie, the Member for Melton. He has been a staunch advocate for training provision in Melton. I have had many conversations with him myself. He understands the training needs of his local community, and the power of TAFE in reducing disadvantage and opening doors for Victorians.
This government will work closely with the Melton community and the outstanding Member for Melton, Mr Steve McGhie as the business case is undertaken.