Australia is now a step closer to meeting its skills needs with South Australia signing on to the Turnbull Government’s Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) National Partnership Agreement.
Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills, Karen Andrews said the signing of the National Partnership Agreement with the South Australian Government signals the start of a joint commitment to provide thousands of new opportunities for Australians through apprenticeships and vocational education pathways.
The SAF will provide an estimated $1.5 billion to create up to 300,000 additional apprenticeships and traineeships.
Under the SAF, the South Australian Government will match federal investment to boost vocational education and training and grow apprenticeship numbers.
“Projects agreed between the Federal and State and Territory Governments will help arrest the decline in apprentices and trainees that began in 2012 under the previous Government,” Minister Andrews said.
In addition to the funds available through SAF, South Australia will collect a per capita share of the $50 million sign-on payment, which the Government announced in the May Budget.
“Skills shortages are a significant issue facing South Australia in a range of areas, but the Turnbull Government is committed to addressing this alongside the South Australian government,” Minister Andrews said.
“I’m working closely with South Australia to finalise projects to jointly fund that will ensure a growing number of apprentices and trainees in the coming months and years.”
Under this Agreement, states and territories will match funding for SAF projects and are required to maintain their skills funding. This will ensure states and territories do not withdraw funding from the VET system.
“The Turnbull Government stands ready to work collaboratively with all states and territories to build the number of Australian apprentices and trainees; their contribution to business and industry cannot be overstated.”