Release type: Media Release

Date:

New partnership to tackle Queensland skills shortages

Joint Media Release with Hon. Rod Welford MP, Queensland Minister for Education, Training and the Arts

Federal Minister for Education, Julia Gillard and the Queensland Minister for Education, Training and the Arts, Rod Welford today announced that Queensland will join the Australian Government in delivering the Productivity Places Program.

From now until to December 2008, Queensland will trial an initiative to deliver 2 884 additional training places in identified skill shortage areas, with more places expected next year as part of the broader rollout of the program. This includes 884 health places for national priority health occupations, previously announced by COAG.

The Australian and Queensland Governments will invest $7.13 million to provide workers in Queensland with the chance to upgrade their skills and gain higher level qualifications.

This new partnership, which marks the beginning of the next phase in the rollout of the Productivity Places program, will better match training to industry needs and provide businesses with a solution to on-going skill shortages.

The additional training places announced today will be targeted to the existing workforce and will be available at the Certificate III, IV, Diploma and Advanced Diploma levels across a range of industries and skill shortage areas.

The Queensland Government is to be congratulated on its commitment to the program and both governments will work together to tackle skill shortages and improve education and training.

The Australian Government is dedicated to tackling skills shortages across the nation, and this announcement is an important step in delivering 700 100 additional training places over the next five years.

The Australian Government recently announced that the $2 billion commitment would include 10,000 places to be allocated as ‘Structural Adjustment Places’ to provide specific retraining opportunities and targeted support to displaced workers.

In the first six months more than 12 035 job seekers have completed training under the Productivity Places Program and are now beginning to take up jobs in skills shortage areas.

Since 1 April 2008 more than 53 494 job seekers have enrolled in the program, with more than 44 502 having commenced training.

There are currently 691 Registered Training Organisations participating in Phase II of the job seeker element of the program, delivering more than 4 100 qualifications from Certificate II to Diploma level.

More information on the Productivity Places Program is available at: www.productivityplaces.deewr.gov.au