An independent Queensland Audit Office report has come out in support of the Palaszczuk Government’s Skills for Queensland strategy launched by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Minister for Training and Skills Development Shannon Fentiman this week.
Acting Minister for Training and Skills Development Mick de Brenni said the report Investing in VET endorses the government’s approach to targeted investment in training.
“Queensland’s investment in vocational education and training (VET) is not only effective, but also efficient,” Mr de Brenni said.
“This is great news and highlights why the Palaszczuk Government continues to invest in training for Queenslanders.
The report says our annual VET investment meets Queensland’s skilling needs in a most cost-effective way and recommends a skills strategy be finalised as the number one priority to ensure Queensland has a skilled workforce for the jobs of the future.
“Just this week the Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and I launched our Skills for Queensland strategy, Great training for quality jobs and kicked off our free apprenticeships initiative for anyone under 21,” he said.
“The Skills for Queensland strategy is part of the government’s focus on growing a strong economy that can create jobs, increase private sector investment and engage more young Queenslanders in education, training and work.
“It sets out a clear plan to build on the existing strengths of the skills and training system.”
The Minister said the Skills for Queensland strategy will target critical skills needs, new skills needed for existing jobs, emerging opportunities brought about by technology advances, and regional and statewide priorities.
The initiatives include:
- A $5.5 million Micro-Credentialing pilot will support employers and their workers to gain the skill sets needed to adapt to workplace changes including new technologies
- A next generation Higher Level Apprenticeship pilot that will train apprentices in specialty and emerging technical and trade fields
- Review and Expansion of the Gateway to Industry Schools program so that school students can train in emerging and innovative industries
- A government-endorsed Skills Assure system for students and employers to have confidence in a quality training experience
- A new Link and Launch pilot to target youth hot spots and provide seamless access to government programs like the successful Skilling Queenslanders for Work or Back to Work
- A new Ministerial Roundtable to ensure government hears industry input to skills investment priorities first‑hand
- New regional jobs committees to bring together local industry groups, training providers, local and major employers, and councils to help plan local training.
The Queensland Audit Office said Queensland has effectively managed the demand-driven VET market, providing students with greater choice whilst maintaining consistent student and employment outcomes.
The report highlights the government’s increased funding for disadvantaged cohorts through the successful Skilling Queenslanders for Work (SQW) initiative, which provides work-ready skills and training to Queenslanders who need it most.
The audit also recognises the important role played by public providers in the VET landscape.
“The report reinforces our continued strong support for public providers including TAFE Queensland and Central Queensland University, through the annual State Contribution Grant,” Mr de Brenni said.
Other Queensland Audit Office recommendations include performance measures and periodic reviews for the State Contribution Grant, improved transparency for the annual VET investment and subsidy lists, streamlined processes for SQW projects and improved efficiency and quality of the pre-qualified supplier contract renewal process.
Acting Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development
The Honourable Mick de Brenni