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    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Education and Training and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Rod Welford

    Skilling Queensland for the future

    Minister for Education and Training and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Rod Welford

    Tuesday, June 03, 2008

    Skilling Queensland for the future

    The Bligh Government is tackling the skills shortage head on with a $716 million investment in vocational education and training programs announced in the 2008-09 state budget.

    Education and Training Minister Rod Welford said almost $560 million will provide over 31 million hours of vocational education and training across the state.

    This will include:

    • $186.5 million to develop the skills of apprentices and trainees
    • $9 million for additional trades training places as part of the Queensland Skills Plan.
    • $14.9 million for 3500 additional training places at Certificate IV level or higher
    • $6.6 million for a range of industry engagement models that promote industry leadership of skills formation and skilling solutions, and
    • $17.1 million for an additional 4250 students trade training places

    ‘’We need to create a larger, more highly skilled workforce,’’ Mr Welford said. “This funding will help train the next generation for the jobs of the future – improving workers’ qualifications and ensuring that the Smart State keeps up with its interstate and international competitors.”

    Mr Welford said $54.7 million will be spent on the construction of four SkillsTech Australia campuses.

    Minister for Transport, Trade, Employment and Industrial Relations John Mickel said the Bligh Government’s skills package included $80 million to help more than 15,000 disadvantaged job seekers get jobs under the Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative.

    The $80.9 million allocation for Skilling Queenslanders for Work is part of the $100 million budget for Employment initiatives in 2008-09.

    Mr Mickel said labour shortages were being exacerbated by an ageing population, labour under-utilisation and lower labour productivity.

    “About 200,000 Queenslanders have the capacity to work and are not in the labour market and another 100,000 are underemployed”, he said.

    “The Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative is an $80 million investment targeted at maximising labour force participation and workplace development.

    “Our objective is to lift productivity, increase capacity and promote social inclusion.

    Mr Mickel said in 2008-09 the Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative would target disadvantaged groups in the labour market including Indigenous people, early school leavers, mature-aged people, parents and carers wanting to re-enter the workforce, people with a disability, migrants and refugees.

    Media Contact:
    Minister Welford’s office – 3237 1000
    Minister Mickel’s office – 3237 1125