The Australian Government has announced its JobTrainer initiative to help hundreds of thousands of Australians access to new skills by retraining and upskilling them into sectors with job opportunities, as the economy recovers from the COVID-19 crisis.
Key Issues —
From the outset of the Covid-19 crisis, the Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia (ITECA) has been a strong proponent for a significant investment in vocational education and training to support job seekers re-enter the workforce. This policy advocacy was alongside that of the calls made by the Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA), the Business Council of Australia (BCA) and other employer organisations.
Recognising the merit in such calls, the Australian Government has announced its $1 billion JobTrainer initiative.
The JobTrainer program will provide up to an additional 340,700 training places to help school leavers and job seekers access courses to develop new skills in growth sectors and create a pathway to more qualifications.
Courses will be free or low cost in areas of identified need, with the Federal Government providing $500 million with matched contributions from state and territory governments.
Independent Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) will be able to deliver the programs alongside public TAFE colleges.
“The Australian Government’s advice to ITECA is that they support contestability, thus allowing independent RTOs to deliver elements of the JobTrainer program. This is a great outcome and we’ll continue working with the Australian Government on the details,” said Troy Williams, ITECA Chief Executive.
The work of the National Skills Commission will be pivotal to determining which qualifications will be delivered. The National Skills Commissioner will work with state / territory governments in this task.
JobTrainer Initiative ―
Estimated Number Of Training Places By Jurisdiction*
◾ Australian Capital Territory:....5,700
◾ New South Wales:....108,600
◾ Northern Territory:....3,200
◾ South Australia:....23,500
◾ Western Australia:....35,200
ITECA’s discussions with the Australian Government have established a shared understanding that that many job seekers gaining employment during the economic recovery will secure employment in new fields, so they will require skills for these new jobs.
The challenge before the Australian Government will be to negotiate the agreement for the JobKeeper initiative within the context of a new funding arrangement with state and territory governments for vocational education and training; however, the advice to ITECA from several sources is to date these discussions have been positive.
To provide independent RTOs (and other interested parties) with an overview of the JobTrainer initiative a free online webinar has been organised.
Briefings on the discussions with state and territory governments on the JobTrainer program will be provided to ITECA members are the regular funded provider meetings convened in each state and territory. Briefings of this type are one of the many benefits of ITECA membership.
Independent RTOs support more than 80% of the 4.1 million students in vocational education and training across Australia.
Getting Involved —
ITECA’s ability to play a lead role in matters associated with this issue rests on the advice and guidance of individuals serving on the ITECA Vocational Education and Training Committee. ITECA Membership - it's a great time to get involved.
Further Information —
If you're an ITECA member and would like more information on this matter, the ITECA team would value the opportunity to talk to you. Simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 1300 421 017. Stay up to date via Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
* Subject to negotiation between the Australian Government and state / territory governments
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