Up to 8000 Queensland job seekers are set to benefit after Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced $60 million would be allocated to deliver a revamped Skilling Queenslanders for Work program in 2015-2016.
Ms Palaszczuk said Labor’s Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative, worth $240 million over four years, would support up to 32,000 job seekers.
The Premier today announced details of the reinstated initiative, which was abolished by the previous LNP Government despite its proven track record.
“Skilling Queenslanders for Work has a proven track record of delivering Queenslanders real employment opportunities,” she said.
“This is an initiative that’s worth $60 million a year over four years and it’s going to deliver immediate benefits to communities throughout Queensland.
“Jobs are my government’s number one priority and we’re serious about putting Queenslanders back to work.
“This initiative will get thousands of Queenslanders back on the path to employment, providing jobs right throughout the State and it will have a strong rural and regional focus.
“We want to ensure that no matter where they live, all Queenslanders can access real jobs and real employment opportunities.
“This is a great chance for local councils and community groups to get local projects up and running.”
Premier Palaszczuk said Skilling Queenslanders for Work would have a strong focus on developing skills to match current and future industry needs.
“It’s specifically tailored for local programs that support young and long-term unemployed Queenslanders on the path back to work,” she said.
“We want to give all Queenslanders the skills and experience they need to get back into the workforce.
“We want to help them build a career, provide for their families and contribute to their communities.”
Premier Palaszczuk said an evaluation by Deloitte Access Economics on the Skilling Queenslanders for Work program run by the previous Bligh Labor Government found that for every dollar invested in the program, it generated nearly eight dollars in return.
“The Newman Government’s decision to cut the Skilling Queenslanders for Work program made no economic, social or fiscal sense,” she said.
“It denied thousands of Queenslanders important skills and training opportunities.
“This is a program which pays for itself – it will help thousands of Queenslanders back into the workforce, which is good news for the State’s economy.”
Attorney General and Minister for Training and Skills Yvette D’Ath said the first round of funding would open on May 1 and close on June 19 this year.
“This is all about getting people the right skills and getting them into jobs,” Ms D’Ath said.
“I am excited by what this can deliver from Queenslanders. It’s a great program and this immediate injection of $60 million will deliver hope to thousands of Queenslanders.
“This is about getting the right skills for the job market and providing the best training to deliver real employment opportunities.
“We will be talking with industry and local employers to determine what industry-specific training is required to meet local employment demands.”
Projects under Skilling Queenslanders for Work will be delivered by community based organisations with not-for-profit objectives and Registered Training Organisations. Local councils, school Parents and Citizens’ associations will also be able to apply for some programs under the initiative.
The Department of Education and Training will be conducting information sessions throughout a number of metropolitan and regional locations.
Those interested can register for the sessions by contacting the Training Queensland Customer Centre on 1300 369 935. Guidelines for the programs will be released on www.training.qld.gov.au
Source: News Release, Queensland Government, 8 April, 2015