$25 million to help people into apprenticeships 

Published Wednesday, 06 October, 2021 at 11:00 AM


Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning
The Honourable Dr Steven Miles

Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development
The Honourable Di Farmer

The Palaszczuk Government is investing $25 million into a Pre-Apprenticeship Support program to help Queenslanders secure the training they need for the job they want. 

A brand-new employment based, pre apprenticeship pathway will help more than 300 people across Queensland, while the extension of existing programs will support hundreds more.  

Minister for Training and Skills Development Di Farmer said the new pathway, which will be delivered with Group Training Organisations (GTOs), will not only help people get onto apprenticeships, but to complete them too.  

“Businesses right across Queensland are crying out for workers, which is why investing in skills is a key priority of the Palaszczuk Government’s $14.5 billion COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan,” Minister Farmer said. 

“There’s over $1 billion for training and skills this year alone, as we know that if you get the right training, you’re much more likely to get the right job. 

“For this new pre apprenticeship pathway we are working with seven GTOs who will recruit and train 301 people aged between 15 to 24 years old to complete a certificate I level qualification in construction, engineering, or hospitality. 

“Those who complete the program will be supported to transition into a subsequent apprenticeship, either employed by the GTO or with another employer. 

“This pathway allows people to explore the different options open to them before embarking on an apprenticeship, meaning when they do take that step, they’re much more likely to successfully complete it.” 

Skill360 is one of the GTOs selected to deliver the program and will be recruiting 30 people for trades programs in Cairns.  

Member for Cairns Michael Healy said it would make a real difference locally. 

“Skill360 will recruit, screen and induct 30 people here in Cairns and provide tailored support to the participants to prepare them for working in construction, including gaining some initial skills and hands-on experience through paid employment while studying a Certificate I in Construction,” Mr Healy said.  

“After completing this Cairns Construction Pathway participants will better understand what to expect when they start an apprenticeship, can choose the trade that offers the best prospects for them and they can be safe and productive from their first day on the worksite.” 

Skill360 CEO Mike Bareham said he was excited to start delivering their pre-apprenticeship program. 

“This is a great opportunity for those interested in a construction-related apprenticeship to get a start, knowing they have additional support to help them succeed and get off on the right foot towards becoming a qualified tradesperson,” Mr Bareham said. 

“This project will also be a great opportunity for employers who haven’t employed or hosted an apprentice before, or for a while, because they will be getting support from Skill360 to match the right person for their business who also has some understanding and skills that they can put to use straight away. 

“Industry data provided by Construction Skills Queensland shows a continuing growth in construction apprentice numbers, and in approved construction projects in the region. It is essential that we keep growing the pipeline of locally skilled and trained construction workers to keep up with the labour demand to ensure these projects can be delivered using local workers.” 

Speaker of the Queensland Parliament and Member for Mulgrave, Curtis Pitt, said another local Cairns program would be extended. 

“For young people just starting out, SchoolTech is a successful school-based vocational education and training program led by TAFE Queensland and Woree State High School in Cairns.  

“It’s fantastic news that this program is going to be extended to help even more students in Far North Queensland.” 

Member for Baron River Craig Crawford said there was much more to the $25 million Pre-Apprenticeship Support program. 

“It is also increasing support for existing programs that support people looking to start a trade career or want to advance in their current trade,” Mr Crawford said. 

“Registered Trade Skills Pathways and Trade Skills Assessment and Gap Training provide complementary pathways for people who have experience in an industry to earn a recognised qualification that will help them take the next steps on their career paths. 

“The Palaszczuk Government is also expanding assistance through Queensland’s Out of Trade Register, which the Apprentice Employment Network administers.” 

Skill360 will also recruit a hospitality intake in Brisbane while the six other funded GTOs will support participants across South East Queensland, Toowoomba, Sunshine Coast, Townsville, Hervey Bay, Maryborough and Bundaberg. 

The Pre-Apprenticeship Support Program is funded through the $200 million Future Skills Fund. For further information visit www.desbt.qld.gov.au/training/future-skills-fund or call 1300 369 935. 


Media contact: Kate Talbot, 0439 803 211