The government has announced a $2.5 billion JobTrainer program, giving 340,000 Australians the opportunity to retrain or upskill into sectors with job opportunities, including an additional $1.5 billion to expand the apprentice and trainee wage subsidy.
Speaking on 2GB Breakfast radio on Thursday morning, the Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, Michaelia Cash, explained that the new JobTrainer initiative will offer Aussies access to short courses and full qualifications to prepare for a post-pandemic workplace.
“That will be up to the states and territories as to how they would like to deliver them. But certainly, it’s vocational education and training, short courses, full qualifications. It’s all about upskilling, reskilling, retraining into areas that we know are in demand and have a job,” Ms Cash said.
Under the program, the National Skills Commission will work directly with the states and territories to ensure that we are targeting the areas of demand in their particular state or territory.
But according to Ms Cash, priority areas will be mining and resources; construction; ICT; health, aged and disability care.
“They’re the obvious ones where we know there is that growth,” Ms Cash said.
As for the additional cash being focused towards apprentice wage incentives, the minister explained that around 90,000 small and medium businesses will be covered.
“All those businesses out there, 200 employees or less, you now qualify,” she said.
“We’re extending it to those with 21 or more, and less than 200. We’re also extending the wage subsidy by a further six months to March 2021.
“So, for all of those small businesses out there who have already qualified, you will now get an extra six months of support. We want to see apprentices and trainees kept on the job, and that’s what this $1.5 billion will do.”
Maja Garaca Djurdjevic
16 July 2020