Welcome Message from Deputy Premier of NSW

It’s never easy for young people to make decisions that could affect the rest of their lives. Working out the best options for a career can be tough. What is important though is that students get access to the best information available, to help them make the best decision possible.

I can’t stress how important it is that young people understand the value of Vocational Education and Training (VET) as a viable pathway to more than 500 diverse and interesting careers. Many VET graduates are getting into rewarding jobs sooner – with no HECS debt, with flexible and supported learning options, and with great job and salary outcomes.

I’m an ex-tradie and uni-dropout myself, so I know the VET system and the benefits it can deliver. I was encouraged to go to university by my parents, and it just wasn’t for me. After dropping out, I opted to take up a trade and do an apprenticeship. I loved it and the decision paid off.

The big picture in all this is that without skilled workers, our economy will stall, and all the infrastructure projects we’re building across the state will not be able to go ahead. The single biggest threat to our infrastructure spending program is not having the workforce to deliver it.

Skills Show Australia 2018 is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the best outcomes of our VET system – it’s a showcase for the remarkable skills and talents that young people can develop, whatever trade or profession they choose, and the NSW Government is proud to fund the event.

I strongly encourage teachers and young people to take a good look at VET as an option for the future – it might just be the best decision you ever made.


The Hon. John Barilaro MP