Release type: Media Release

Date:

New partnership to tackle Tasmanian skills shortages

Joint Media Release with David Bartlett MP, Tasmanian Premier, Minister for Education & Skills

Federal Minister for Education, Julia Gillard and Tasmanian Premier and Minister for Education and Skills, David Bartlett today announced that Tasmania will join the Australian Government in delivering the Productivity Places Program.

From August to December 2008, Tasmania will trial an initiative to deliver 458 new training places in identified skill shortage areas, with more places expected next year as part of the broader rollout of the program. This includes 108 health places for national priority health occupations, announced at the COAG meeting on 3 July 2008.

The Australian and Tasmanian Governments will invest $1.259 million to provide workers in Tasmania with the chance to upgrade their skills and gain higher level qualifications.

Already, 1,030 Tasmanians have commenced training in occupations such as Community Services Support Work, Security Operations and Asset Maintenance. 300 of these job seekers have completed training. 18 Registered Training Organisations are participating in the program in Tasmania.

The new 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.

This new partnership will better match training to industry needs and provide businesses with a solution to on-going skill shortages.

Qualifications will be on offer across a range of industries in Tasmania, including the key skills shortage areas in community services and health, manufacturing, construction and electrical trades.

The Tasmanian 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.

Premier and Minister for education and Skills, David Bartlett, said "We welcome this initiative as a joint Commonwealth-State funded collaborative program. The program will support enterprise development and improve productivity through opportunities for existing workers to upgrade their skills.

"Registered training organisations will be invited to lodge tenders to provide high quality training programs from Certificate III to Advanced Diploma in advertisements in Tasmanian newspapers tomorrow.

"I encourage Tasmanian registered training organisations to consider submitting bids to provide training programs."

The Australian Government is dedicated to tackling skills shortages across the nation, and this announcement is an important step in delivering 630 000 new training places over the next five years.

This marks the beginning of the next phase in the rollout of the Productivity Places Program.In the first five months more than 4 500 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 42 000 job seekers have enrolled in the program, with more than 29 000 having commenced training.

There are currently 587 Registered Training Organisations participating in Phase II of the job seeker element of the program, delivering more than 3 500 qualifications from Certificate II to Diploma level.

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