Mr MELHEM (Western Metropolitan)  — As the chair of the Western Melbourne Local Automotive Transition Taskforce, which was set up by the Andrews Labor government to assist automotive workers to transition to future employment, I had the pleasure of dealing with some wonderful and terrific public servants. They work for the Department of Education and Training, and that particular department funds 33 skills and job centres across Victoria. These centres provide a one-stop shop for workers looking to train and reskill, create links between job seekers and employers and assist in providing vital support services. The staff at all of the skills and jobs centres are doing an incredible job and have assisted over 60 000 people seeking training and employment across the state. They have also played a pivotal role in assisting retrenched automotive workers through five specialist automotive centres, one located in my electorate of Sunshine.

Over 3000 automotive workers have registered with skills and jobs centres, including 800 people in Western Metropolitan Region. Furthermore, the majority of retrenched automotive workers have now secured employment, mostly in skilled manufacturing. Many of those who have not are instead seeking education and training services, mainly in transport, postal and warehousing industries.

This government is committed to making Victoria’s education system the best in the country and assisting workers in transition. I am confident that the skills and jobs centres will continue to provide high-quality support and advice to workers and their families impacted by closing businesses and the changing nature of jobs. I want to acknowledge Nanette Fitzgerald, who is in charge of the centres, and her team for doing a wonderful job. I also congratulate Minister Ben Carroll for his good stewardship in this area.