The Palaszczuk Government has announced an allocation of $1.1 billion in the 2018-19 State Budget for the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training to support a strong training system and promote small business and jobs growth.
Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development Shannon Fentiman said it was a top priority to help more Queenslanders gain skills and access opportunities to participate and prosper in the economy.
“Through a sustainable training system we will equip the workforce with the skills required for future jobs and small business development,” Ms Fentiman said.
“The Budget allocates more than $770 million in the Vocational Education and Training (VET) Investment Plan in 2018-19, including a $20 million boost to the successful Skilling Queenslanders for Work (SQW) initiative.
“We are honouring our election commitment to boost its budget to $80 million in 2018-19, while extending the initiative for two years into 2020-21 with a further $160 million.
“The $420 million initiative will now extend for six years and help up to 54,000 disadvantaged Queenslanders, with more than 15,300 having secured jobs as a direct result of SQW already.
“This program is doing a fantastic job of helping a range of people, including mature-age Queenslanders up-skill and reskill to become job ready.
“Since 2015 more than 4,200 mature-age Queenslanders have been supported and in 2018-19 we will expand the program’s targeted cohorts to also include job support for Queensland’s veteran community.”
Minister Fentiman said the Budget would continue to boost employment with the Back to Work Regional Program receiving an extra $155 million, with applications open to 30 June 2020.
“Also, $20.5 million is being provided to continue the popular Back to Work program in areas of South East Queensland with significant labour market challenges, with applications being accepted until 30 June 2020.
“Already our Back to Work programs have helped more than 6,000 businesses employ more than 13,000 Queenslanders, including more than 3,000 apprentices and trainees.
“And a $1 million fund has been established to collaborate with industry in promoting the benefits of employing apprentices.
“We will continue to support TAFE Queensland, as the premier public provider of VET in Queensland, with a commitment of up to $85 million for three years in the Advancing our Training Infrastructure election commitment, which will include upgrades at Pimlico, Toowoomba, Cairns, and Mt Gravatt, and within the regions of the Gold Coast and Redlands
“In addition, TAFE facilities will be redeveloped and expanded including a $1.5 million fashion hub at Mt Gravatt, a $500,000 nurse training centre at Caboolture and a $1 million upgrade of nursing training facilities at Loganlea.
“We will also provide $1.1 million for the next four years to establish small business consultation panels and $1 million in 2018-19 to deliver business advice and mentoring to those who want to create their own future job.”
Minister Fentiman said the Budget included ongoing funding for the important initiatives of Small Business Champion, the Queensland Small Business Advisory Council, the Better Regulation Taskforce, Jobs Queensland, the Regional Skills Investment and Adjustment Strategies, the NDIS Training and Skills Support Strategy and the Training Ombudsman.
Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development
The Honourable Shannon Fentiman