There's a little bit of good news in what’s been a pretty grim time for people who've lost their jobs during the pandemic and school leavers looking to get into the job market. The economy is facing ongoing difficulties due to the COVID-19 crisis. And with the Australian jobless rate at a 22 year high, there's an increasing need to support and fire up Australia's workforce. In response, the Morrison government has announced an assistance package to improve skills and training and support job creation.
From September 2020, the new $1 billion JobTrainer program will offer training or re-skilling courses for 340,700 school leavers and job seekers. States have mostly been supportive and will be providing 50% of the funding. The courses will be free or low cost. And they will focus on skills important to today’s job market, as identified by the National Skills Commission (NSC) in consultation with the states.
Scott Morrison said,
"I want Australians to be ready for the sorts of jobs that will come as we build back and recover. The jobs and skills we'll need as we come out of the crisis are not likely to be the same as those that were lost."
Another reason for this funding is the need to address issues in vocational education and training systems. Both to simplify the programs on offer and make them more in tune with the skills employers are looking for. States will need to agree to overhaul their VET system to qualify for JobTrainer funding.
Back in March, the government announced a wage subsidy incentive to encourage companies to keep their trainees and apprentices on. This latest package includes an additional $1.5 b to extend that program until the end of March 2021, available to businesses with 199 employees or fewer. This will roughly double the number of employers it supports and covers 50% of an apprentice’s or trainee’s wage, up to $7,000 a quarter (the staff member must have been employed from 1 July this year).
With industries such as health and social care, transport, manufacturing and retail looking to take on more employees and needing an extra hand to come good after COVID-19, a boost in skills training in the next few months is timely and welcome. It will be available just as other COVID support schemes come to an end.
Australia has an unprecedented number of unemployed people looking for work in industries that have suffered massive change during the crisis. Add to that the pressure of school leavers entering the same weakened market and the support is essential to get the country back on its feet.
Further details about the JobTrainer scheme and application information are expected in the coming weeks. In the meantime, if there's anything we can help with, please reach out to the team at email@example.com.
The Wiise Team