Get ready for JobTrainer

Get ready for JobTrainer

The Australian Government recently announced it’s $1 billion JobTrainer initiative. The funding is provided through a $500 million contribution by the Australian Government and a contribution of $500 million by the state and territory governments. It is expected to include a mixture of free and/or low cost courses targeted at reskilling and upskilling Australians which is anticipated to be announced before September. There will be up to 340,700 training places available with the breakdown by state as follows: Australian Capital Territory – 5,700; New South Wales – 108,600; Northern Territory – 3,200; Queensland – 68,500; South Australia -23,500; Tasmania – 7,100; Victoria – 88,900; and Western Australia – 35,200. The newly formed National Skills Commission has identified health care, transport, retail trade, wholesale trade, manufacturing, postal and warehousing as growing sectors with jobs in demand.  The states may also identify additional industry sectors as priorities in their footprints.

Review scope of registration:

RTOs can get ready to respond to the funding opportunities provided by the JobTrainer Scheme in reviewing your current scope of registration and product offerings now so as to anticipate courses that will be subsidised by the government. There may be specific stand-alone units or skill sets that you need to apply to ASQA for so as to be ready to offer them under your state’s funding arrangements. Part of that process should be determining what resources (learning and assessment) you will need to deliver those in demand programs.

Identify government funding opportunities:

It is expected in the first instance that RTOs with current funding agreements in place with state training authorities will be given the opportunity to apply to deliver additional courses under JobTrainer. Those providers already offering apprenticeships and high demand courses in priority areas will be at an advantage out the gate. Microcredentials which could include stand-alone units of competency or skill sets to be delivered as short courses have been proposed by the government as included in the subsidised programs. It remains to be seen if non-accredited courses will be funded in this scheme. Providers who do not currently offer government funded programs should not despair as there may be opportunity to apply in the states you operate in but you will need to monitor developments very closely over the coming months.  Another strategy could be for you to partner with RTOs who have existing funding contracts in place with the view to deliver on their behalf under a third party arrangement so you can support them with any increased demand or overflow.

Scale your operations:

RTOs who expect to deliver JobTrainer courses should commence planning now to build capacity so as to be able to handle an increase in enrolments once the funding is available. This should include reviewing your current training and assessment strategies and delivery models. In particular, if your RTO has been delivering emergency remote training and assessment the transition to a new hybrid delivery model incorporating online delivery should be an urgent priority. Delivering some of your training and assessment online is an effective way to scale your operations. Recruiting sufficient trainers and assessors for the expected increase in enrolments is also an important consideration to start planning for.  The earlier you commence your recruitment processes the better placed you will be in ensuring you have secured appropriately qualified staff. A competitive training market will likely result in quality trainers and assessors being high in demand too.




TasTAFE one of the most affordable public provider’s in Australia

Tasmania continues to perform better than the Australian average across most key indicators for apprentices and trainees with commencements increasing by 9.7 per cent in the 12 months to June according to its
Labor Government. Labor leader, Rebecca White has suggested their free TAFE policy for industries facing skills shortages would address issues in attracting workers and apprentices to construction sites and provide opportunities for Tasmanians young and old. The opposition has accused the government of not doing enough to build the state’s skilled workforce through TAFE, saying construction companies are struggling to obtain workers and apprentices for development projects.

Public perceptions of VET in Australia are contributing to skills shortages

Hairdressing training
In a submission to the Productivity Commission, the Tasmanian state government has proposed that “Australia’s VET system is a positive national asset that should continue to be refined and developed for the benefit of individual learners, employers and industry, to drive local and national economic development,”  

Labor’s Free TAFE Policy – more jobs for Tasmanians, where we need them

Tasmanian Labor

  • Free TAFE policy for 5,000 Tasmanian careers
  • Key industries cannot find skilled Tasmanian workers
  • Liberal inaction has seen 2,000 apprenticeships vanish


A Labor Government would address unemployment while skilling-up the next generation of Tasmanian workers to have successful, lifelong careers in Tasmania.

Labor Leader Rebecca White said Labor’s $10 million free TAFE policy will provide 5,000 students the qualifications they need to find jobs in our fastest growing industries.

“Building, construction and hospitality businesses simply cannot find the qualified staff they need. They are flying in tradespeople and chefs from the mainland to fill the gap,” Ms White said.

“With Australia’s oldest population, and highest rate of disability, aged care and disability services face similar problems.

“There is a fundamental mismatch been Tasmania’s skillset and our growing industries. This mismatch is costing Tasmanians jobs and holding back our fastest growing industries.

“Under the Liberals, TAFE is broken and we have lost 2,000 apprenticeships.

“Labor will provide free TAFE courses across the building and construction, hospitality, aged care and disability services sectors.

“This means jobs for Tasmanians and a boost for our businesses.

“It means more apprenticeships and more traineeships. It means it will be easier for businesses to hire qualified staff and cheaper for tradespeople who take on apprentices. It means elderly Tasmanians will get the level of care they need.

“Labor has formed this policy directly from the feedback received from our Industry Advisory Councils – our industries want workers with the skills to match their demands so they can grow and provide careers to Tasmanians.

“The Liberals need to decide whether to back Labor’s policy and support 5,000 Tasmanians into meaningful careers or to continue to do nothing while mainlanders are flown in to plug skills shortages while Tasmanian apprenticeships disappear in their thousands.”

Labor will mandate that apprentices and trainees undertake at least 20 per cent of labour on government building and construction contracts.

This policy will also apply to the civil construction industry.

“Tasmanians looking for work should get the first chance at an apprenticeship or traineeship,” Ms White said.

Rebecca White MP

Labor Leader

/Public Release. View in full here.

Tasmanian Building and Construction Industry Training Board releases new report

In an industry snapshot released on Friday, industry members highlighted a need for post-trade training as well as courses information and communication technology and assistance for small businesses and sole traders in tendering for building contract work.

Needs in Northern Tasmania included basic skills, like literacy and numeracy training, and enhanced skills for dealing with new technologies and building code regulations.

Regional workshops held in 2018 identified there were barriers in recruiting people suitable for the construction industry and getting young people in particular to be motivated for recruitment.

Feedback in the report noted apprentices did not understand the industry could offer interesting and rewarding experiences.

It said there was a general consensus among 180 industry members who attended the forums that mature-age apprentices were of a high quality but costly for small builders.

TBCITB chairwoman Tracy Matthews said there were 19,700 people employed in the building industry as at November 2018 with was 6 per cent less than three months prior.

“The Tasmanian building and construction industry continues to experience high activity levels expected to be around $2.8 billion a year for at least the next two years,” Ms Matthews said.

“More major projects in the north of the state are expected to happen within the next two years coinciding with the completion of significant projects in southern Tasmania.”

The board forecast a 3-per-cent rise in residential building construction over the next two financial years which was anticipated to be valued at $884 million by 2020-21.

It said the industry employed 1786 apprentices during 2017-2018 which represented a 22-per-cent increase on the previous financial year.

Last financial year, 900 apprentices commenced in the building and construction industry which was up 39 per cent the year before.

“With the expected growth in construction activity, an increase apprentice numbers should follow in the short term,” the report said.

It said 25 per cent of apprentices did not complete their courses due to a lack of work.

Tasmanian vocational education providers welcome Australian Government investment

Picture: Shutterstock

 Picture: Shutterstock

The Coalition will spend $523.3 million over five years from this year to provide a suite of funding initiatives, aimed at addressing the skills shortage experienced across the country.

Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg unveiled the package as part of the hand down of the budget in Canberra last week.

On Monday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a plan to make VET courses fee-free as he spruiked funding for Tasmania’s flagship Battery of the nation project.

Mr Frydenberg said the funding package was aimed at addressing the skills shortage, to try and get more people into vocational careers and also to support employers when they take on apprentices.

Key points to the investment in vocational education are:

  • $67.5 million over five years to establish 10 industry training hubs to support school-based VET
  • $44 million over four years for a streamlined incentives program for employers
  • $156.3 million over three years for skills shortage payments for employers and apprentices in the top 10 occupations experiencing skill shortages, to support 80,000 new commencements.
  • $48.3 million over four years to establish a National Skills Commission that will develop efficient pricing for training, informed by the work of the Productivity Commission
  • $15.8 million over four years to extend the Unique Student Identifier service, currently only available to VET students, to all higher education students
  • $2.2 million in 2019-20 to develop the first stage of a tertiary learning repository in 2020 to record an individual’s higher education and training records.

Tasmanian Education Minister Jeremy Rockliff welcomed the news of the VET funding package.

Education Minister Jeremy Rockliff.

 Education Minister Jeremy Rockliff.

“We particularly welcome the additional incentives for employers to help encourage them to take on apprentices,” he said.

The Tasmanian Government already offers incentives for employers through its payroll tax scheme and small business grants, to encourage businesses to take on apprentices.

“It is also good to see a focus on improved careers advice and a continued raising of the profile and value of vocational education and training,” Mr Rockliff said.

“Importantly for Tasmania the $62.4m investment on foundation skills will help us support individuals to gain skills needed to move into further education or employment.”

Data from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research showing there were 8330 apprentices in Tasmania in 2018.

However, commencements for trade training in Tasmania has steadily declined since 2014, with 4850 in 2018, which is a slight increase on the year before.

TasTAFE's Alanvale campus.

 TasTAFE’s Alanvale campus.

The Examiner highlighted this issue in 2017 as part of its Pick up the Tools campaign, which aimed to shine a light on the skills shortage and how investment in TasTAFE would help address it in the state.

As part of the series, a new national partnership agreement was signed between the federal government and Tasmania, to assist the state in funding TasTAFE and other vocational education providers.

That national partnership agreement, the Skilling Australians Fund, will be boosted by $34.2 million to be divested between the six state signatories of the agreement under the new budget funding package.

TasTAFE chief executive Jenny Dodd also welcomed the “strong focus” on vocational education.

“It’s great to see a budget which has a much greater focus on supporting vocational education and training than we have seen in the past,” she said.

“As the state’s major trainer of apprentices, this is great news for TasTAFE. We train apprentices once they are employed, so work in partnership with employers to meet training needs and encourage more people to take up apprenticeships.”

Ms Dodd said TasTAFE worked closely with the state government, Skills Tasmania and industry to address training demand and skills shortages now and in the future.

The federal budget was handed down in Canberra on April 2. A federal election is also impending, to be held in May. A date for the election has not yet been set by Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

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