Tech making it easier to employ apprentices and trainees

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

Josh Furness of Kent Saddlery with Bryce, one of his apprentices

The Palaszczuk Government is providing personalised text alerts and tutorial videos to make it easier for small businesses to employ apprentices and trainees.

Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development Di Farmer said easy-to-follow resources have been developed to make the apprenticeship and traineeship process as simple as possible.

“Each year small businesses and other operations across the state work through the steps to recruit and train the next generation of skilled workers,” Minister Farmer said.

“We need to ensure these training pathways continue to develop the skilled workforce the state needs, which is why we made investing in skills a key focus in our COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan and it’s why we are spending more than $1 billion on training and skills.

“However, we know it can be tricky for small businesses with no HR departments to be across the timelines and requirements, so we’ve responded after listening to business owners who are juggling the obligations of their training contracts.”

Minister Farmer said new tools have been introduced to help.

“The Palaszczuk Government has launched a personalised and timely SMS system to keep employers updated on their obligations and training milestones,” Minister Farmer said.

“We have updated information and created short videos on the Business Queensland website to cover the benefits and issues employers can face so the system works better for them.

“I hope these measures will support more businesses to sign up more apprentices and trainees who will go on to complete their qualifications and become the skilled workers their employers and this state need in the future.”

One business benefitting from the new resources is Kent Saddlery in Stanthorpe, which employs apprentices to ensure skilled workers are coming into the family business as well as learning the craft of leather production.

“It’s a great one stop website, for just about any piece of information you’ll need to confidently employ an apprentice or trainee in Queensland,” Kent Saddlery’s Josh Furness said.

“With many helpful hints, facts, resources and links to useful information, I’ll be referring to this website for answers to all things training.”

The Palaszczuk Government also provides a range of support and funding including free apprenticeships for under 25s, travel and accommodation subsidies, insurance discounts and payroll tax exemptions.

“We have seen the number of apprentice and trainee commencements increasing despite the challenges business have faced, which has in turn raised the number of apprentices and trainees in training to its highest number in years,” Minister Farmer said.

“In fact, in the year to May 2021 there were over 40,000 apprenticeship and traineeship commencements, which is an astonishing 47.7% jump compared to the previous year.

“Supporting their employers will help to improve the retention and completion rate so that Queensland can call on more skilled workers.

“Ensuring our skilled workforce meets returning and new demand, without skills shortages limiting opportunities, is vital.”

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