Macquarie Fields TAFE College
Macquarie Fields, NSW
[Check against delivery]
It is my great pleasure to be here to open your new training facilities for the Sport and Recreation and Health and Community Services departments - or K and M Blocks, as I believe you call them.
First, I want to express the Government's appreciation for the great work being done by Macquarie Fields TAFE College.
For more than three decades, you've been giving people in this region the skills and qualifications they need to get a trade and a job.
You reach out to those in the community who would otherwise not get the chance to further their education after completing school.
Earlier this year, while acknowledging the central place of TAFEs in our training system, the Prime Minister highlighted the role TAFE colleges like yours would play in delivering the higher skills needed in the new economy.
Clean energy, building and construction, aged and disability care, nursing and allied health, sport and recreation-just to mention a few of the current and future growth areas.
Your new training facilities are going to make a significant contribution to meeting the growing industry demand for skills in these critical areas.
To be effective and relevant in the 21st century, the training you offer will require world-class facilities.
It's why the Government invested $9 million in your state-of-the-art lecture rooms, sign industry workrooms and a specialist sign writing computer room as well as cardio, aerobics, fitness testing, massage therapy and clinical rooms.
You also now have access to high-quality wireless internet connections-and there are many more improvements, all of which are increasing the quality of training delivery on offer here.
The Gillard Government wants every Australian to have access to quality training in first-rate facilities that will help them get the skills to fill the high‑paying, high-skill jobs of the future.
Modern facilities like yours are being developed in tertiary institutions across Australia, providing critical infrastructure and vital student amenities.
Since 2007 we've committed over $5 billion to upgrade infrastructure in the vocational education and training, higher education and research sectors.
This investment provides the best possible environment to foster the highly skilled, innovative and productive workforce that Australia needs to remain internationally competitive and prosperous.
Skilling our population and investing in the nation's continuing prosperity are top priorities for Labor.
From 1 July, we are investing $1.75 billion over five years on a national partnership agreement with the states and territories. This is in addition to the $1.4 billion already provided each year.
This new agreement will deliver a guaranteed entitlement to a training place for any Australian who wants to gain skills up to the Certificate III level, which has become the minimum entry qualification for many jobs in our economy.
The new agreement also makes available HECS-style loans for subsidised diploma and advanced diploma students.
This is important because removing the up-front cost of courses removes a major barrier to training entry for those who want higher qualifications.
I'm sure these reforms will open up more opportunities for people in this region to study and gain qualifications here at Macquarie Fields TAFE.
Qualifications that will secure them a trade or a job and transform their lives and the lives of their families for generations to come.
I wish to thank the South Western Sydney Institute and the New South Wales Government for working with us to accomplish these projects.
Congratulations to everyone involved in the successful delivery of these wonderful facilities.
It's now my great pleasure to declare the Macquarie Fields TAFE College K and M blocks officially open.
Media Contact: Parliamentary Secretary's office, 02 6277 4717