Skills investment to drive Queensland’s recovery

Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development The Honourable Di Farmer

The Palaszczuk Government continues to strengthen its investment in training and skilling Queenslanders, with more than $1 billion providing a further boost to the state’s economic recovery.

Minister for Training and Skills Development Di Farmer said the training and skills funding announced in the 2021-22 State Budget was a vital part of Queensland’s Economic Recovery Plan, giving more Queenslanders the opportunity to get into jobs now and in the future.

“Queensland has had the strongest response since the pandemic started, with Queensland leading the nation on employment growth over the last year,” Minister Farmer said.

“As we continue to pivot our economy in the wake of COVID-19, we are re-focusing our investment in skills and training to help more Queenslanders get the skills they need for jobs in emerging, growth, and traditional industries.

“The Palaszczuk Government is making Skilling Queenslanders for Work permanent – a program that supports disadvantaged and vulnerable Queenslanders – with a commitment of $320 million over four years and ongoing funding of $80 million each year after.

“This highly successful program sees more than 73% of participants getting a job or going into further training.

“It was scrapped by the Newman LNP government, and they’d do it again if given the chance.

“Since we reintroduced it in 2015 it’s helped more than 36,000 Queenslanders into jobs, and this investment will enable thousands more access the training and skilling opportunities they need.

“I am not exaggerating when I say this is going to change lives.

“We are also helping more young people under 25 into free TAFE and free apprenticeships, by continuing delivery of our $21 million commitment.

“So far more than 34,200 young Queenslanders have been supported into free training in priority industries where we know there is demand for skilled workers.

“Our $200 million commitment to invest in the future skills of Queenslanders will continue to be delivered, with the first phase of the $8 million Social Enterprise Jobs fund, which provides grants to support Community Social Enterprise Development, set to close on 1 July.”

This also includes delivery of these key programs:

  • $32.4 million for the TAFE Priority Skills Fund
  • $25 million for the Pre-Apprenticeship Support Program
  • $5 million for the First Nations Training Strategy

Minister Farmer said other investments included $16.5 million for Manufacturing Skills Queensland, recognising and supporting the strength of the Queensland manufacturing sector, and the $100 million Equipping TAFE for our Future program.

“The Palaszczuk Government continues to back TAFE across Queensland,” Minister Farmer said.

“Since 2017, we have invested over $150 million into revitalising TAFE campuses which means TAFE can continue to deliver world-class training with industry-leading facilities.”

Some of the projects scheduled for 2021-22 under Equipping TAFE for our Future include:

  • $10 million towards fit-out at a new Robina TAFE campus
  • $3.6 million for a new Advanced Manufacturing Hub at Cairns TAFE
  • $3.35 million for a new Agriculture and Horticulture Centre at Bundaberg TAFE
  • $2 million for a Cyber Security Training Operation Centre at Mooloolaba TAFE
  • $2 million for a Cyber Security Training Operation Centre at Cairns TAFE
  • $2 million for a new Cyber Security Training Operation Centre at Southbank TAFE
  • $2 million for an Aquaculture Training Centre at Cannonvale TAFE
  • $1.2 million for Nursing and Allied Health upgrades at Hervey Bay TAFE
  • $1 million towards Stage 2 of the Rural Centre of Excellence at Toowoomba TAFE
  • $1 million for a Maker Space Centre at Bundaberg TAFE
  • $950,000 for a Robotics Lab at Southbank TAFE

Minister Farmer said that public funding for vocational education and training continues to grow Queensland with more than half of the VET investment supporting skills development and employment in regional Queensland.

“Overall participation in government funded training has continued to grow over the past year, with students enrolled with TAFE Queensland in particular increasing by around 26% compared with April 2020.

“We are also continuing to strengthen Skills Assure, to make sure our training providers in Queensland meet the highest standards.

“This is about making sure Queenslanders are confident with the training and skills they get from Queensland training providers.

“The bottom line is that no matter who you are or where you are in Queensland, you have access to a good quality vocational education.”

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