Schools in disadvantaged communities or with a large number of students from lower socio-economic backgrounds will receive priority funding under the next round of Trade Training Centres (TTCs), Minister for School Education Peter Garrett said today.
Mr Garrett said around $150 million funding under the fourth round of TTCs will be used to build new training centres in about 130 high schools across the country.
“The Gillard Government is investing $2.5 billion over 10 years to provide access to industry-standard training centres for every senior high school student in the country, helping improve Year 12 retention rates and providing high quality vocational training,” Mr Garrett said.
“We’ve already announced funding of more than $1 billion for 288 TTCs benefitting more than 900 schools, and this new round of funding means even greater numbers of students will have access to vocational education while still in school.
“From this round there will be a new system, under which schools will receive support from their education authority to be given funding for a TTC, instead of schools having to go through a direct application process.”
The new arrangements will target resources to high priority schools and communities and deliver on the Government’s commitment that all secondary students from years 9 – 12 have access to vocational education through TTCs, Mr Garrett said.
State-based education authorities will work with their schools to develop sector-wide plans setting out which schools, or clusters of schools will be prioritised for funding based on need, as well as individual project proposals for each TTC. The education authorities will then work with the Federal Education Department to ensure the plans meet the program requirements, before they are approved by the Australian Government.
Mr Garrett said state education authorities will be required to prioritise projects so the ongoing rollout of TTCs will target schools with the greatest socio-economic disadvantage, with an emphasis on remote schools.
“The plans should also take into account other factors such as existing vocational training opportunities, current year 12 retention rates, potential links between schools and local industries, and responding to local and national skills and labour needs,” he said.
“Education authorities will work with successful schools, local businesses and the community to develop and implement the individual project plans.
“We’re also expanding the list of eligible qualifications that can be delivered by TTCs to help meet local industry demands, including qualifications in the resources, aged care and allied health industries.
“Trade Training Centres will ensure that students have access to the best quality vocational education, helping them pursue a career in a trade or industry and encouraging them to stay in school.
“TTCs are also helping address skill shortages in traditional trades and emerging industries, helping Australian industries remain prosperous.
“The Gillard Government is committed to giving young Australians access to vital skills training, unlike the Abbott-led Coalition which has promised to cut $1.1 billion from TTCs.”
Submissions for Round Four close on 11 November and interested schools can contact their education authority for further information. Successful projects will be announced by the end of the year.
For more information on the Trade Training Centres in Schools Program and Round Four visit www.tradetrainingcentres.deewr.gov.au.