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Karen Andrews MP: 90 Second Update February 27th

As Assistant Minister for Vocational Education & Skills, one of the most rewarding aspects of my job is that I am able to improve a system that helps young people get a practical head start in life.

This month we had evidence that our reforms are working - with the completion rate for VET student loan assisted places jumping 6 percent to 81.4% under the new system which replaced Labor's disastrous VET Fee Help.

There was great interest in our reforms at the meeting of Commonwealth Nation Education Ministers that I addressed in Fiji recently. In addition to the new student loan system, our reforms include the $1.5 billion Skilling Australians Fund to create 300,000 extra apprenticeships and traineeships, a $60 million Industry Specialist Mentoring for apprentices, and the real skills for real careers initiative to raise the status of VET as a valued pathway to a job and career

It's a pity that our Queensland State Minister for Training and Skills Development wasn't as interested in how our new system will benefit Queensland. Earlier this month I had to set her straight on the facts about VET funding and the significant boost in funding our government has provided.

Labor has a habit of crying "funding cuts" without any reference to the facts - I also took the opportunity in Parliament this month to debunk Labor's claims about school funding.

Finally, as we head into flu season our government has provided groundbreaking additional flu vaccines for people over 65 - please encourage friends and family to see their doctor and take advantage of these new protections.

Until next month,

Karen Andrews MP - Federal Member for McPherson

Postal Address: PO Box 409, Varsity Lakes QLD 4227
Email: karen.andrews.mp@aph.gov.au
Website: www.karenandrewsmp.com
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