The Queensland Government has announced a 2019/20 training and skills budget approaching $1 billion. 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.
The Budget includes the successful $420 million Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative, which will assist another 10,000 disadvantaged people with $80 million 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,” Ms Fentiman said.
This program helps eligible Queenslanders develop skills, gain qualifications and provide direct assistance to enter and stay in the workforce, delivered by not-for-profit community-based organisations, local councils, Parents and Citizens’ and Parents and Friends associations.
The initiative offers seven programs that deliver training to improve skills and employment opportunities: supporting young people, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, people with disability, mature-age job seekers, women re-entering the workforce, veterans and ex-service personnel and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
“The Skilling Queenslanders for Work program is unique in Australia in its utilisation of the not-for-profit community sector. The November 2019 Community Colleges Australia conference, to be held in Brisbane, will examine this program in detail as a potential model for the rest of Australia,” said Dr Don Perlgut, CEO of Community Colleges Australia.
Other projects included in this year’s Queensland Budget announced by the Minister include a Back to Work program, a doubling of the TAFE capital works program to more than $105 million and a three-year, $5.5 million Micro-Credentialing pilot project. This project will support employers and their workers to gain the skills needed to adapt to workplace changes including new technologies.
“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,” Ms Fentiman said.
“Over 51% 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,” Ms Fentiman said.