Strong Plan delivers opportunity in education and training
Published Tuesday, 03 June, 2014 at 02:50 PM
Treasurer and Minister for Trade
The Honourable Tim Nicholls
Minister for Education, Training and Employment
The Honourable John-Paul Langbroek
Queensland families will have greater access to high quality education and training opportunities with the release of the 2014/15 State Budget.
Treasurer Tim Nicholls said the budget for education and training had increased seven per cent to $11.8 billion.
“This budget continues to deliver a strong plan for a brighter future,” Mr Nicholls said.
“We have outlined our plan to secure our finances by making the strongest and smartest choice to reduce debt so we can sustainably invest in the schools we know we are going to need.
“We have also been able to increase the education budget without introducing new taxes or reducing services.”
Minister for Education, Training and Employment John-Paul Langbroek said the 2014-15 State Budget would enable the Government to continue revitalising education and training services.
“Everything we do in education is aimed at achieving better student outcomes, and we are achieving this by directing funding towards teacher quality, improving school autonomy and enhancing student discipline,” Mr Langbroek said.
“That’s why we have committed more than $66 million this year as part of our five year, $537 million Great Teachers = Great Results action plan.
“The Government’s $131 million Great Results Guarantee is continuing to boost student literacy and numeracy outcomes by engaging them in learning that will benefit them now, and in the future.
“We’re also giving more schools greater local control by investing $6 million for additional state schools to become Independent Public Schools as part of a four-year election promise.
“The Government is also providing almost $94 million so we can ensure a smooth transition for schools as Year 7 moves to high school in 2015.
“We’ll also be allocating 761 additional teachers and teacher aides in response to enrolment growth and students with special needs.
“In addition, we will allocate an extra 2,250 prep teacher aide hours as part of our four year $54 million Boosting Prep for our children’s future commitment.”
Mr Langbroek said the Newman Government was continuing to focus on closing the gap between indigenous and non-indigenous Queenslanders.
“We’re investing almost $4.9 million to increase kindergarten participation rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children,” he said.
Mr Langbroek said the 2014-15 Budget included a significant investment in school infrastructure, so that schools were once again a place of pride for students to learn, teachers to teach and communities to gather.
“After the previous Labor Government let our state schools fall into disrepair, the Newman Government pledged to address the $300 million school maintenance backlog,” he said.
“The budget will deliver $100 million to fix rusty down pipes, ripped carpet and peeling paint in Queensland state schools.
“This is on top of more than $410 million being spent on capital projects to improve schools, training facilities and kindergartens.
“We’re delivering 10 new schools through a $1.38 billion Public Private Partnership with $59 million allocated to the project in 2014-15.”
Mr Langbroek said the Government was looking at ways of boosting productivity and lowering unemployment in order to grow a strong, four pillar economy.
“That’s why we have undertaken significant reforms in Queensland’s Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector through the Great skills. Real opportunities. five-year action plan,” he said.
“For the first time in the state’s history, industry employers will have a direct influence on the government’s VET investment.
“This means the almost $1.1 billion taxpayers invest in training and tertiary education will be better targeted towards addressing skills shortages and lead to real job outcomes.
“We’re continuing to offer fee-free apprenticeships and traineeships in high priority skills areas to Year 12 graduates.
“We’re spending up to $13 million over three years in the School to Trade Pathway and Group Training Organisation Additional Apprentice Bonus initiatives to support our commitment to create 10,000 additional apprenticeships over six years.
“This budget also provides $10 million to support registered training and community organisations to create job-focused training as part of the $47 million Community Learning Program.
“There is also $1 million for the Strategic Indigenous VET Partnership delivered in conjunction with the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Multicultural Affairs.”
Mr Langbroek said he was looking forward to delivering Queensland’s first Education Accord.
“The Newman Government is building its strong plan for a brighter future and this historic event will map a 30-year vision for school education,” he said.
“This vision will build on the Queensland Plan to determine priorities for our schools and ensure present and future students are given the best possible education and job opportunities.”
[ENDS] 3 June 2013
Media contact: Danita Goodwin 0439 886 652