Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT)

15 June 2023

Last week I was really pleased to attend the 95th birthday of the Canberra Institute of Technology, CIT. CIT is such an important part of our community in Canberra. Canberra couldn't operate without the tens of thousands of essential graduates that have come from CIT, who've been educated and trained there over the years and are contributing really important roles to our economy.


CIT was founded in 1928 as the Telopea Park Technical Trade School and was officially opened by the then prime minister Stanley Bruce. Since 1928 there have been several name changes, and it has grown to get to where it is today, which includes five campuses. It is the peak public vocational education and training provider in the ACT, training around 20,000 students every year. This training is so crucial in tackling the current skills shortages in Australia, developing the pipeline of skilled workers our economy needs and maintaining and building trust in the VET sector.


It is a really exciting time to be involved in the vocational education and training sector, and I am proud to be part of a government that is working with the ACT government and industry to ensure that the VET sector is equipping Australians with the skills they need for well-paid, secure work and getting us ready for the opportunities of the future. That is why Labor, when forming government, took action to implement the landmark 12-month skills agreement for 180,000 fee-free TAFE and VET places. The ACT government signed on to the agreement, which is injecting more than $15.5 million into the ACT skills and training sector and supporting more than 2½ thousand fee-free TAFE and vocational education and training places in the ACT this year. These students are immediately thousands of dollars better off from enjoying a fee-free education.


I want to thank the Minister for Skills and Training, Brendan O'Connor, for his work on getting this landmark agreement off the ground. The agreement also includes $50 million to modernise campuses and training facilities nationally. Nationally, almost 150,000 Australians have already enrolled in free-free TAFE this year, and the Albanese Labor government recently announced in the budget a further skills investment, including over $400 million for a further 300,000 fee-free TAFE and VET places in high skills need areas from 2024. I again want to congratulate CIT on all they have achieved in the past 95 years and wish them the best for the next 95 years. You don't get such a standing in the community and such a proud history without years of dedication from teachers, students and industry partners. At the celebration last week it was great to hear some of the stories of people's personal achievements through CIT and what it has meant to their lives and to the broader community here in Canberra.