Release type: Media Release


Investing in the building blocks of a skilled workforce


Senator the Hon Chris Evans
Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations

The Gillard Government will remove skills barriers locking thousands of Australians out of the workforce by investing in training to deliver foundation skills.

Disadvantaged groups will be given access to the training and skills they need for work through a $263 million package which includes:

  • $143 million to provide 30,000 additional commencements for job seekers in the Language, Literacy and Numeracy Program;
  • $80 million for additional vocational education and training places at Certificate II level or above for single parents and teenage parents;
  • $20 million to expand the Workplace English Language and Literacy program to support businesses who want to boost the core skills of their workers; and
  • $20 million to maintain the number of places in the Australian Apprenticeships Access Program to ensure apprentices have the basic skills they need.

Minister for Skills and Jobs, Senator Chris Evans, said no Australian should be left behind as Australia enjoys this period of economic growth.

“For hundreds of thousands of Australians, the thing that holds them back from participating in the economy and gaining employment is a lack of basic skills - especially language, literacy and numeracy,’’ Senator Evans said.

“During the past three years the Government has implemented a long term strategy to provide disadvantaged job seekers with these critical foundation skills.

“Literacy skills are the fundamental building block which people need if they are to enter the workforce, secure long term work and build a career.’’

“More Australians must have the chance to develop these skills and access the opportunities on offer in our strengthening economy.”