Premier Denis Napthine today outlined Victorian Jobs in the 21st Century, a $33 billion initiative to create 200,000 jobs and provide training for nearly one million Victorians.
Dr Napthine said the Victorian Jobs in the 21st Century plan would use the Coalition Government’s record investment in large-scale infrastructure projects as a springboard to create a diverse, highly skilled and productive workforce that will underpin a strong economy for decades to come.
“This is a clear 6-point plan that builds on Victoria’s strengths and capitalises on the opportunities presented through the Asian Century by focusing on skills, manufacturing, infrastructure, services, the digital economy and international engagement,” Dr Napthine said.
“Over the last three and a half years our Government has built a strong foundation for Victoria’s future. We are the only state with a Triple A stable credit rating with budget surpluses over all the forward estimates.
“There are now 100,000 more people employed than when we came to office and since 2010 we have also enabled 800,000 people to enrol in 1.8 million courses.
“On top of this, we have invested in the largest public infrastructure program seen in Australia in more than 70 years.
“Our Victorian Jobs in the 21st Century plan builds on this foundation to take the state forward and deliver a prosperous Victoria with jobs, opportunities and training for all members of our community,” Dr Napthine said.
Dr Napthine said the Coalition Government would invest in training to ensure Victoria was underpinned by a highly skilled and adaptable workforce.
“Over the next four years the Coalition Government will spend $5.2 billion to deliver training for 850,000 Victorians, plus 60,000 new apprenticeships,” Dr Napthine said.
“We will also invest an additional $121.4 million to support young people and adults who are changing jobs, and we will create a Future Skills Fund to create skills centres across Victoria.
“This will build upon the $21.9 million I announced yesterday to create a Centre for Advanced Manufacturing and Trades at Chisholm Institute’s Frankston Campus,” Dr Napthine said.
Dr Napthine said manufacturing was a key sector in the Victorian economy, employing 275,000 people and contributing $17 billion in exports.
“Victorian has a bright future in manufacturing, particularly in the high-end and knowledge-intensive sectors such as pharmaceutical manufacturing, food production, nanotechnology and robotics.
“The Coalition Government is committing $274 million to grow Victoria’s manufacturing sector.
“This will include special funding programs to help attract new businesses to Victoria and to assist existing companies to expand. We will also provide manufacturing companies with support to invest in innovative new processes and equipment and will provide special support for manufacturers in the automotive supply chain,” Dr Napthine said.
Dr Napthine said that after years of underinvestment, the state was finally getting the infrastructure it needed to support everyday Victorians and business.
“Dan(iel) Andrews admits that Labor did not invest in the infrastructure needed to keep pace with Victoria’s growing population. We have worked hard to correct this mistake,” Dr Napthine said.
“Our most recent budget includes more than $27 billion in key infrastructure projects including the Melbourne and Airport rail links, Stage 1 and Stage 2 of the East West Link and the Cranbourne Pakenham Rail Corridor upgrade.
“These projects will create 26,000 direct jobs in construction, engineering, finance and professional services.
“Our new Victorian Jobs in the 21st Century initiative will build on this to create tens of thousands of additional flow-on jobs by mandating local content targets for these major projects.
“We have already demonstrated our commitment to local suppliers in these major projects by securing 90 per cent local content through East West Link stage 1 and today I can also reveal that we will require shortlisted bidders for East West Link stage 2 to commit to training at least 150 additional Victorian apprentices,” Dr Napthine said.
Dr Napthine said Victoria’s services industry had been one of the main drivers of the state economy in recent years and the Coalition Government had developed a plan to capitalise on future growth opportunities.
“International education and tourism are our top two largest service exports worth $4.5 billion and $3.4 billion respectively and contributing 230,000 jobs to our economy.
“Through the Victorian Jobs in the 21st Century Initiative the Coalition Government will build on this key growth sector by investing more than $120 million to grow and develop service sectors such as our biotechnology industry, our design and innovation capabilities and our international education markets.
“We will also continue to build on our commitment to frontline Government services in Victoria which has included more than 10,000 new positions, such as 1,700 new police, 1,036 PSOs, 2,681 nurses and 1,222 doctors,” Dr Napthine said.
The Digital Economy
Dr Napthine said Victorian Jobs in the 21st Century showed that the Coalition Government had attracted $1.1 billion in new ICT investment into Victoria since 2010, creating 5,000 new jobs.
“The Coalition Government will deliver further investments to create new opportunities for Victorian businesses in the digital economy,” Dr Napthine said.
“One example of how we will deliver jobs growth by leveraging digital opportunities is with the creation of a new $30 million Manufacturing and Innovation Technology Fund.
“This fund will be available to growing manufacturers to assist them with sourcing ICT services.
“We will also continue to provide additional investment to support projects that develop new ways of using high capacity broadband to grow jobs and investment in Victoria,” Dr Napthine said.
Victoria is recognised as a world leader in aggressively targeting international growth markets to grow exports and create local employment.
Dr Napthine said that since 2010 the Coalition Government had conducted 78 trade missions to 33 countries and delivered real benefits and real jobs for the state.
“By proactively engaging with rapidly growing economies, particularly in South East Asia, we have enabled 3,200 businesses to gain a footing in new and emerging markets,” Dr Napthine said.
“So far, our international engagement program has directly led to $4.7 billion in projected additional exports and more than 3,500 new Victorian jobs. We have opened four new trade and investment offices in Asia and re-opened the Victorian Government Business Office in Jakarta which was unfortunately closed by the short-sighted previous Labor Government.
“The Coalition Government is committed to expanding our inbound and outbound trade mission program and will open new trade and investment offices in Singapore and Latin America,” Dr Napthine said.
The Next Steps
Dr Napthine said the Coalition Government was ready to begin enacting the Victorian Jobs in the 21st Century immediately.
“Over the next three weeks I will demonstrate my Government’s commitment to this landmark $33 billion plan by announcing new initiatives that will create 3,000 Victorian jobs,” Dr Napthine said,
“The Liberal National Coalition is the only party with a real plan, with real investment that will lead to real jobs for Victorian families.”
Source: News Release, Premier Denis Napthine, 07 October 2014