SIMON BIRMINGHAM: Ms Lau thank you for your warm words of welcome and for the display of welcoming hospitality we've received on arriving here at the Shanghai Pharmaceutical School. Australia is incredibly proud of our vocational education in training system, it delivers highly skilled workers for our economy, it gives them nationally recognised qualifications that they are able to take from employer to employer to employer, and job to job through their careers.

We are equally proud that we have been able to take our system of qualifications and our approach to vocational education in training out to the world through successful partnerships and collaborations like this one here at the Shanghai Pharmaceutical School working in collaboration with the Box Hill TAFE Institute from Victoria in Australia.

That your partnership has succeeded over the space of a decade is a demonstration of the great success it clearly enjoys and from what I hear your graduates have remarkable results in gaining and securing employment and making a contribution to the innovative and commercial society you have here in Shanghai.

Our time here in China is dedicated to exploring ways in which we can further strengthen our cooperation in relation to the delivery of vocational education in training and we are very encouraged by the enthusiasm from leaders of government and leaders of industry to work with Australia to strengthen these vocational education in training ties into the future.

What will help us most in strengthening these ties are success stories like the Shanghai Pharmaceutical School and that is why I am so delighted to visit and to bring a distinguished delegation of Australians with me to see and to hear how successful you have been, working in collaboration with the Australian education system, to deliver qualifications and skills that have enriched the lives of your students.

I was told last night how strongly you share common values about putting your students first, about giving them the highest quality of training available and about helping them to secure the best jobs and the best futures for themselves and their families and of course overall for your society and economy.

And it is for these reasons that we seek to strengthen the relationship because we want to see a relationship where we are each contributing towards stronger societies in Australia and in China, towards a stronger recognition of each other’s skills and towards the increased mobility of our teachers, trainers and student between each other’s countries because we know that by helping each other become more highly skilled and more successful, we will have even stronger and richer relationships between our nations in the future, so thank you very much for all that you are doing.

Senator Birmingham’s media contact: Caitlin Keage 0427 729 987