Canberra’s tertiary education sector is one of the largest employers in the ACT supporting 20,000 direct and indirect jobs, 63,000 students and contributing over $3.3 billion to the local economy.
International education is also the territory’s first billion dollar export industry, demonstrating how important the sector is to maintain a strong and diverse economy in the ACT.
However, COVID-19 has had a huge impact on the industry, with border closures, the loss of international students and inability to access Australian Government support such as JobKeeper stifling the growth of this vital sector.
Through the 2020-21 Budget, the ACT Government will support the tertiary education sector to recover by establishing the Future Jobs Fund with an initial $9.2 million over two years.
This fund will help finance projects that create and protect local jobs in tertiary education, research and key industry sectors such as space, renewable energy and cyber security.
The Future Jobs Fund is part of our Knowledge Capital Plan, designed to attract the best and brightest from around the world, build on Canberra’s reputation for supporting local innovation, attract investment from institutions and the private sector, and encourage more students to stay in Canberra when they graduate.
The ACT Government will further support our universities by offering payroll tax deferrals of up to $10 million per university to ease cash-flow pressures.
Ensuing our universities and other institutions can recover quickly from the impacts of COVID-19 is a key priority for the ACT Government and will help to generate employment and attract investment.
In the vocational education and training sector, the government is contributing $8.375 million to the JobTrainer program, supporting Registered Training Organisations to deliver fee-free training places in key industries and occupations.
Work also continues on the new $250 million Woden CIT campus – a project that will stimulate job creation and economic growth both during and after construction.
The ACT Government is committed to creating jobs and helping to rebuild key sectors such as tertiary education as part of our ACT Jobs and Economic Recovery Plan.