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    Employment, Skills and Mining
    The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe

    Skills package to support disaster affected industries

    Employment, Skills and Mining
    The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe

    Sunday, March 06, 2011

    Skills package to support disaster affected industries

    Queensland Minister for Employment, Skills and Mining and Prime Minister Julia Gillard have announced an $83 million Queensland Natural Disasters Jobs and Skills Package to help get stricken communities back on their feet.

    Queensland industries, businesses, apprentices and trainees affected by the summer floods or Cyclone Yasi will be supported through the scheme.

    “We want these communities to recover as quickly as possible,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

    “One of the best ways we can do that is to support workers and industries in disaster affected communities to get back on their feet.

    “That’s why the State Government will provide $44.4 million worth of assistance to 6,500 people in affected communities by creating employment and training opportunities.

    “The task of reconstructing after the disasters is an enormous one but we are committed to providing support for industry, businesses and workers to help people to help themselves.”

    Prime Minister Julia Gillard said having a job would provide an important sense of purpose for people in disaster affected communities.

    “With meaningful work comes dignity, security and a sense of self-worth,” the Prime Minister said.

    “We know it will take many months to rebuild disaster hit communities across Queensland but the Commonwealth will be there providing support every step of the way.”

    The skills package is part of the more than $5 billion the Commonwealth is expected to contribute to rebuilding Queensland.

    The package includes $4 million for Jobs Skills Development Officers, $36 million for Community Work Placements, $14.1 million for apprentice training and support and $13 million for skills training in priority areas.

    “This means up to 1500 placements will be available through the Green Army and participants will be paid a training wage to deliver projects in affected areas to assist the recovery effort,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

    “Around 2500 Queenslanders whose employment has been affected, for example if the floods put their employer out of business, will be able to commence or continue apprenticeships or traineeships.

    Prime Minister Gillard said it was essential that apprentices and trainees be given support to keep their jobs.

    “It is essential that apprentices are given the support they need to continue their training until demand picks up,” she said.

    “Apprentice reconstruction work teams will employ out-of-trade apprentices to join the recovery effort and employers will be paid incentives to retain apprentices in critical industries.”

    One of the package’s key initiatives will be a flexible funding pool of $12 million to pay for small scale capital works and employment and training initiatives.

    There will also be targeted support for Indigenous Australians affected by the disasters with more than $3.5 million in Indigenous Employment Program funds available for training and development projects.

    Jobs Skills Development Officers will work closely with local governments, organisations and businesses to help coordinate skills training and provide opportunities for local residents in the rebuilding effort.

    Skills Queensland is consulting with local councils, industries and communities to determine where and how the officers can be best mobilised.

    Staff from Skills Queensland are also working with the tourism, manufacturing, mining, retail and rural sectors to roll out training and address immediate skills priorities.

    For more information, visit or call the Jobs and Skills Package Hotline on 1800 773 048.

    Media contact: Kerryn Manifold 0439 781 886