Registered training organisations are being encouraged to apply for funding through the latest round of the Tasmanian Government’s Apprentice and Trainee Training Fund (User Choice), with applications now open. The fund provides subsidies through grants to significantly reduce the cost of providing quality training and assessment for nationally recognised qualifications.
Tertiary education training must meet local small business needs
Speaking at the Independent Tertiary Education Conference this morning, Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Kate Carnell said education professionals must consult with local small businesses so they can train the right people with the right skills.
“Small businesses employ the greatest number of people in Australia’s workforce, but they continue to experience difficulty in recruiting skilled workers,” she said.
“We have seen a long term structural shift in employment towards services industries over the last decade, and this is projected to continue.
“The strongest growth is predicted for industry sectors where the main source of skills is Vocational Education and Training (VET), but only 22% of people who start a qualification see it through to completion.
“Around two thirds of the growth is expected in the health care and social assistance, construction, education and training and professional, scientific and technical services and food services.
“Many jobs in these sectors need skills that are VET specific, such as aged care, disability and child care as well as construction and hospitality.
“While apprentice numbers have fallen sharply in recent years, we’ve seen a slight upturn in small businesses employing apprentices.
“Small businesses need VET providers to be more flexible in their approaches to training workers, including tailoring courses to match the skills needed by employers.
“Instead of concentrating on whole qualifications, they should provide a variety of short courses that build a skills profile that makes workers more employable to the small businesses in their community.
“If training organisations genuinely engage with small employers, new markets will open and enrolments will grow.”
The Palaszczuk Government is investing even more in training and skilling Queenslanders in the 2019-20 budget.
Minister for Training and Skills Development Shannon Fentiman said the latest budget has delivered an additional $24 million, bringing the Training and Skills budget to $978 million.
“We want to ensure that Queenslanders have access to state of the art training facilities,” Ms Fentiman said.
“And our capital works program will more than double this year, with over $105 million in upgrades to ensure TAFE facilities across the state can offer high quality training spaces to skilled Queenslanders for the jobs of the future.”
“Key projects include upgrades at TAFE campuses on the Gold Coast, Alexandra Hills and Mt Gravatt, while continuing works at Pimlico in Townsville and Toowoomba– these are just some examples of our commitment to strengthening the state’s TAFE network.”
“Investing in fit-for-purpose training infrastructure is essential to ensure Queenslanders can access the skills they need to get a job and pursue an exciting career in our state’s growing industries.”
“These projects will also support existing apprentices, trainees and workers in the construction sector and associated businesses.”
Investing in skills training continues to be a focus in this year’s State Budget with funding for vocational education and training including apprenticeships and traineeships, certificate and Higher Level Skills programs as well as new initiatives to prepare workers for the future of work.
“This year we will launch a three-year, $5.5 million Micro-Credentialing pilot project to support employers and their workers to gain the skills needed to adapt to workplace changes including new technologies,” Ms Fentiman said.
“The first year of the Micro-Credentialing pilot will design a program offering a range of skill sets, soft skills training and short courses for a peak industry body to promote to their members.
“These employers will also be able to choose personalised or role-specific training for their staff.”
“We will invest in a Higher Level Apprenticeships pilot to work with industry to develop training pathways that cover specialised skills and emerging knowledge on top of the traditional apprenticeship program.
“This is on top of continuing our successful free tafe initiative that is providing young Queenslanders with the opportunity to study in one of 160 high priority course for free in the 12 months after they graduate high school.”
In addition, the successful $420 million Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative will assist another 10,000 disadvantaged people with $80 million to be invested across the state in 2019–20.
“Skilling Queenslanders for Work continues to assist people who have struggled to find the right opportunity, to get the skills and training they need to get a job.
“And so far we have assisted over 40,000 Queenslanders with 73 per cent of participants going on to get a job or further training,” Ms Fentiman said.
“In addition, our Back to Work program will continue to give local businesses the confidence to be able to employ more Queenslanders with more than 19,000 people already gaining employment through our assistance to more than 9,200 employers through this program.”
“Over 51 per cent of our skills and training investment this financial year to 30 May 2019 is in areas outside of south east Queensland, supporting skills development and employment in regional areas.
“This State Budget will support Queenslanders into training pathways in a variety of careers including traditional trades as well as growing industries in areas like digital technology and the community services sector which will continue to demand skilled workers.
“The Palaszczuk Government is supporting the state’s apprentices, trainees and VET students, who will be the skilled and creative workforce needed to drive economic growth and future prosperity.”