House debates

Wednesday, 28 October 2020

Questions without Notice


2:45 pm

Photo of Lucy WicksLucy Wicks (Robertson, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Minister for Education. As our year 12 students are facing their final exams and looking forward to future employment and study, will the minister please update the House on how the Morrison government is supporting school leavers to get into training, university and work?

Ms Plibersek interjecting

Photo of Tony SmithTony Smith (Speaker) Share this | | Hansard source

The member for Sydney is warned.

Photo of Dan TehanDan Tehan (Wannon, Liberal Party, Minister for Education) Share this | | Hansard source

I thank the member for Robertson for her question. I'm sure I say this on behalf of all the House: we wish year 12 students undertaking their exams this year all the very best. When they started off this year, they had no idea what was ahead of them—that a pandemic would be thrown at them and that they'd have to spend time outside of the classroom. Fortunately for year 12 students in the Northern Territory it's only been one week of no face-to-face learning. In Victoria it's been many, many months. To all year 12 students, right across the nation: we wish you well in your exams. But please understand that this will not define who you are and what you'll end up being. It will also be incredibly important that you are able to pursue employment opportunities and that you're able to pursue opportunities when it comes to university or vocational education. That's why the Morrison government is there, ready to help and support you as you pursue opportunities beyond your schooling life.

What are we doing? For those year 12s who might want to get a job, through our focus on making sure that our economy recovers, 446,000 jobs have come back over the last four months. We want to ensure that our economy continues to grow and that there will be employment opportunities there for you. If you want to go on to university, we're creating up to 30,000 additional places for you for next year so you'll be able to have the opportunity of going to university. Importantly, for those students from regional and rural Australia, there will be extra opportunities for you to pursue higher education at regional universities. We are also ensuring that there are opportunities for you when it comes to vocational education. As the minister before me said, there's our $1 billion JobTrainer Fund. There is also the JobMaker Hiring Credit that's available, and there are short courses for vocational education and 50,000 additional short courses when it comes to higher education.

So to all those year 12s out there: study hard and work hard. We all hope that your exams go well. But just remember that the Morrison government is there helping and supporting you by growing our economy and ensuring there are extra places when it comes to university and extra opportunities when it comes to vocational education.