The Gillard Government has launched its $558 million National Workforce Development Fund aimed at providing 130,000 Australians with the opportunity to learn new skills for jobs in sectors suffering from critical skill shortages.
“The National Workforce Development Fund marks a new direction in training Australians which puts industry at the heart of the process, Minister for Skills and Jobs,” Senator Chris Evans said.
Senator Evans said training of skilled workers is a shared responsibility between Government and industry.
“Together we can boost workforce participation and meet the demand for skilled labour, Senator Evans said.
Industry will be able to make bids to their respective Industry Skills Councils to secure matched funding to train its current or prospective workforce, with small businesses receiving more assistance.
The co-contribution model means that large enterprises will contribute 66 per cent of the cost of training, medium enterprises 50 per cent and small enterprises 33 per cent.
“Funding support will be available for accredited training for new and existing workers to help meet businesses skills demands,” Senator Evans said.
The 2011-12 round of the National Workforce Development Fund will make $73 million available across all industry sectors with $50 million focusing on the priority industry sectors of Construction (civil and general) and Aged Care.
Both of these sectors are at risk of experiencing skills shortages in the near future and are critical to our economy.
“Construction is the third largest sector and is experiencing strong growth as a result of the flow on effects of the mining boom,” Senator Evans said.
Strong growth is also occurring in aged care, driven by our ageing population.
The Gillard Government is also providing a further $75 million in 2011-12 through the Critical Skills Investment Fund (CSIF), which forms a part National Workforce Development Fund.
The CSIF will increase the workforce capacity and productivity of critical industries, with the first round being targeted at the resources and renewable energy sectors.
Applications can be submitted until 30 September 2011.
Further information on the new Fund can be found at: www.deewr.gov.au/nwdf