Further government funding has been announced for apprentice support and training across the state of Queensland.
On December 23, John-Paul Langbroek, Queensland’s education, training and support minister, announced the second round of the Newman government’s Community Learning program. This initiative provides $6.27 million in funding to a number of training organisations that focus primarily on the ‘four pillars’ of the state’s economy – agriculture, resources, construction and tourism.
The funding supports a number of different training projects across the state, including more than $1 million to support programs that will train 282 people in metropolitan Brisbane.
The main beneficiaries of the funding will be an estimated 1,772 disadvantaged Queenslanders who are not currently receiving government benefits and do not have a certificate III level or higher qualification, said Mr Langbroek.
He explained that through the programs on offer, these individuals will get the training they need to either move directly into employment, or enter into further study.
In addition to metropolitan Brisbane, the funding will also be distributed throughout more regional and remote areas, ensuring all Queenslanders receive the skills training and qualifications needed to boost the state’s economy.
“The provision of skills training in regional and rural communities across Queensland is critical to the Newman government’s election commitment of building a four-pillar economy based on tourism, agriculture, resources and construction,” Mr Langbroek explained.
Earlier this month, the Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency (AWPA) asserted that greater emphasis will need to be placed on training and apprenticeships in Queensland to cover an expected skills gap in the mining and resources industry.
On December 16, AWPA chair Philip Bullock noted that in the months and years ahead, recruiting and retaining workers with the right specialist skills will be a major challenge for Australian employers in this sector.
In particular, specialist operational skills and experience will be needed to overcome the anticipated shift from the construction phase to the operational phase at many resource sites.
It may be beneficial for anyone who is keen to work in this sector to add to their existing skill set, as being able to tackle multiple tasks in construction and operations could be an advantage during this transitional time.
The AWPA also noted that it is not too late for workers to retrain to maintain their competitive advantage in the industry.