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New agency to tackle skills crisis

31-08-2010
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in 
New agency to tackle skills crisis

 

Senator Evans … support

 
Federal legislation has been passed to establish a new agency to assist industry in the up-skilling of workers. 
 
The Minister for Skills, Senator Chris Evans said the Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency (AWPA) would strengthen Australia’s response to the nation’s skills challenge and boost productivity. 
 
The Agency, to be led by industry representatives, will play a key role in the allocation of a $700 million industry training fund. 
 
Senator Evans said the new Agency marks a significant development in the partnership between industry and Government. 
 
“The Agency is an extension of Skills Australia and will improve long-term workforce planning and development, address skills and labour shortages and contribute to improved industry and workplace productivity,” Senator Evans said. 
 
A key role of the Agency will be to set priorities for, and provide oversight of the $700 million National Workforce Development Fund, which has been established to support industry to develop and improve the skills of their employees. 
 
The NWDF is providing $700 million over five years to support businesses that want to up-skill and re-skill new and existing staff in priority industries and occupations. 
 
“Putting industry at the heart of the system means we are not training people for training sake – we are training people for jobs. This is a fundamental difference from the traditional supply side system where an individual selects the training package they want, Senator Evans said. “This fundamental reform ensures that the Government is training people in the skills that employers and economy needs. 
 
“With industry co-investment, the NWDF will deliver training to 250,000 Australian workers. 
 
“The Agency will be recognised as an authority on workforce development policy, research, advice and will direct skills funding to industry needs.” 
 
The Government will provide $25 million over three years to establish the Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency. This is in addition to the current Skills Australia budget. 

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