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Thursday, 29 November 2012

BAILLIEU/RYAN GOVERNMENT MUST RESTORE VCAL FUNDING - EDWARDS

Member for Bendigo West, Maree Edwards called on the Baillieu/Ryan Coalition Government in parliament today to restore the $48 million funding for the Coordinators of the essential Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) program.

 “I have raised in Parliament today the very serious concerns I have about the Liberal National Government’s cut of $48 million to funding for coordinators in the Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL).”

“This hands-on program has given our students the skills employers are looking for - practical work-related experience and literacy, numeracy and personal skills essential for life and work.”

“The co-ordinators are crucial to VCAL as they develop links with employers and other education institutions and tailor programs to each individual student's needs.”

“The VCAL program is a labour and time intensive program requiring out of school organisation by co-ordinators,” Ms Edwards said.

“VCAL has been proven to keep kids in school and other learning institutions.”

“The decision to cut $12 million per year will impact heavily on the 20,000 students who undertake VCAL every year.  No wonder the government decided to put extra money into jails - many of the students affected by these cuts will end up there.”

“As we head into the 2013 school year the impact of these cuts on the availability of VCAL subjects will be significant,” said Ms Edwards.

“Many regional schools will be forced to make the hard decision to cut back or discontinue VCAL programs or cut other programs.”

“These cuts will impact most on students with disabilities at special schools who rely on VCAL as a pathway to future employment opportunities.”

“It has been proven that VCAL is a very successful program for students in rural and regional victoria who are disengaged and disadvantaged.”

“I urge the Government to listen to the community's, concerns and restore funding to this critical program, because the cut to VCAL means there will be many students in regional and rural areas who will be denied a future.”

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