Free workforce planning course for Queensland small businesses

Published Friday, 17 February, 2023 at 08:45 AM

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

  • The Queensland Government and University of the Sunshine Coast have teamed up to create a new workforce micro-credential.
  • The free course will help small and medium-sized business owners, and managers struggling to find staff, take on the task of workforce planning.
  • This course will follow the structure of the successful Business Planning Course, which also received Queensland Government support, with over 250 people completing, and more participants expected to begin their studies in the coming months.


The Palaszczuk Government has partnered with the University of the Sunshine Coast to develop a Workforce Planning Course for business owners and managers.


It follows the successful Business Planning Course, also developed by the University of the Sunshine Coast with support from the Queensland Government.


People who complete these micro-credentials will be eligible for subject credits if they study the Graduate Certificate in Business with the University of the Sunshine Coast.


Quotes attributable to Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development Di Farmer:


“Small businesses owners have to be everything, HR, IT, and Marketing so having a course that can help them with employment issues is critical in helping them to get on with their job” Minister Farmer said.


“The time and resources small businesses spend trying to fill labour shortages is already significant and the costs can keep adding up.


“The free Workforce Planning Course will be a valuable opportunity for businesses here on the Sunshine Coast and around the state, because it uses Jobs Queensland’s great Workforce Planning Connect resources and take advantage of the expertise and experience of the University of the Sunshine Coast staff.”


“The skills from this course will help small businesses to find ways to work smarter as they recruit, and develop the workers they need now, and into the future.”


Quotes attributable to Member for Caloundra Jason Hunt:


“I welcome the Workforce Planning Course, and I know small and medium-sized businesses in my electorate who are struggling to fill workforce shortages will jump at the chance to upskill,” said Mr Hunt.


“There are a wide variety of businesses with workforce needs unique to their industry, and this course will allow them to personally address them.”


Quotes attributable to Member for Nicklin Robert Skelton:


“I am excited for the opportunities the Workforce Planning Course will bring to the businesses in the Nicklin electorate,” said Mr Skelton.


“The resources and information the course provides, and the experience of the educators at the University of the Sunshine Coast will deliver great benefits to small and medium sized businesses of every industry.”



Quotes attributable to Jobs Queensland Chair Donna Bonney:


“The short course will support small businesses through the workforce planning process,” Ms Bonney said.


“Our free Workforce Planning Connect resources were developed in collaboration with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland and tested with small businesses, so we know they can guide businesses through the workforce planning process.


“Undertaking workforce planning can help businesses improve their workforce retention and productivity, and it can also identify their future skills needs so they can start working towards their longer-term goals now.


“Through this partnership with University of the Sunshine Coast, our resources will be used to help even more businesses across the state.”


Quotes attributable to University of the Sunshine Coast Vice Chancellor and President Professor Helen Bartlett


“370 business owners have registered for the Business Planning Course since its inception in 2020, and more than 80 have already signed up for 2023,” Professor Bartlett said.


“We developed the Business Planning Course in collaboration with industry when COVID hit to help guide businesses through particularly tough times, and it remains relevant today.


“It has been increasingly popular each year, so I’m sure there will be strong interest in the new Workforce Planning Course, as businesses aim to attract the workforce they need for success.”


“Micro-credentials appealed to business owners with busy schedules seeking information they can implement quickly.


“The advantage of these free micro-credentials is that they are value-packed into a short timeframe, and those who choose to undertake the assignments will receive one course credit toward a postgraduate qualification.


“The Queensland Government has recognised the value of this training and we want to thank them for the funding that allows us to, not only continue but, expand to areas like Townsville and support more businesses in our regions.”


Quotes attributable to business owner and manager at Lume Electrical Sara Hennessy:

“I plan to complete the Workforce Planning Course, after gaining great value from the Business Planning Course,” Ms Hennessy said.


“I came away with a road map to build a business that will be sustainable and the steps we need to take to get where we want to be in five years.


“We have plans to not only expand, but to make sure we find the right people to support that expansion, particularly as my husband who started the company becomes less available to work onsite.


“At first I didn’t know what to expect from a university course, because it seemed a bit daunting but, having done the course, I would definitely recommend it to other local businesses,” she said.



Further information:


Access Jobs Queensland’s free Workforce Planning Connect resources at


To find out more about the University of the Sunshine Coast’s School of Business and Creative Industries short courses including the Business Planning Course and Workforce Planning Course, visit




Ministerial media contact: Nicola Field 0497 940 285

University of the Sunshine Coast media contact: Thomas Fowles 0431 166 064.