A new $1.5 billion Skilling Australians Fund announced by the Turnbull Government will provide new opportunities for local jobseekers, students and industry on the Gold Coast.
Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills and Federal Member for McPherson, Karen Andrews, said the Government is also establishing a $60 million Industry Specialist Mentoring for Australian Apprentices scheme that will help people complete their training.
“The Skilling Australians Fund will create an extra 300,000 apprenticeships in priority industries and occupations across Australia and that’s great news for the Gold Coast,” Minister Andrews said.
“The priority industries list includes hospitality and tourism and we know that operators here on the Coast are urgently looking for more skilled workers to help their businesses grow.
“It will also provide more local people with the opportunity to get the skills they need to put them on the path to a great job and career,” Minister Andrews said.
“I encourage the Queensland Government to put forward innovative projects to ensure our local community is able to share in the opportunities that this new funding provides.
“Local employers and industry will have more opportunities to support locally skilled workers and students will have more opportunities to be an apprentice or trainee.”
“The extra 300,000 apprentices over the next four years reversing the dramatic decline that occurred under the National Partnership Agreement signed off by Labor in 2012,” Minister Andrews said.
“The biggest annual decline in apprentices in Australia occurred in Labor’s last year in office from June 2012 to June 2013 when the number collapsed from around 515,000 to 404,000, or 22 per cent,” Minister Andrews said.
The Fund will be financed by the Government’s recent reforms requiring employers hiring temporary or permanent employer-sponsored foreign workers to pay a fee.
“We understand that overseas skilled migrants may be necessary to fill a short term need, but the Turnbull Government is ensuring that in the long term we can fulfil those skills needs with Australian workers, which is good for Australian business and good for our economy” Minister Andrews said.
Minister Andrews said the new industry specialised mentoring service continued the Government’s focus on supporting apprentices and trainees, complementing the existing services available under the Australian Apprenticeship Support Network program.
The service would help keep Gold Coast apprentices in training by providing added support in the first two years of training.
“This will improve completion rates and support the supply of skilled workers in industries undergoing structural change,” Minister Andrews said.
“The focus on apprenticeships and traineeships in the Budget will boost the number of young Gold Coast people who choose and succeed in this pathway. It will support more members of our community to get the skills they need in industries of the future.”