FEDERAL Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce said New England Electorate businesses can now apply for support to boost the skills of their workforce under the Abbott Government’s new $476 million Industry Skills Fund.
“Businesses in will be able to take advantage of the Industry Skills Fund to upskill or retrain their employees,” Mr Joyce said.
“The Fund will help New England Electorate businesses with training places and skills advice over the next four years. We want to offer real help and real solutions to the small and medium sized businesses from light engineering and manufacturing, agriculture and the food processing industry.
“In contrast, Labor wasted billions of dollars on skills programmes that failed to deliver training that led to real jobs. The era of training for training’s sake is over.
“Employers will be supported to decide what training is needed in their business, and which training provider they want to work with.
“The Industry Skills Fund is a key part of the Abbott Government’s ambitious program of vocational education and training (VET) reform to lift the quality of both training providers and their courses, enhancing the contribution VET makes to the employment prospects of students and the competitiveness of Australia's economy,” Mr Joyce said.
Businesses wanting support to train workers will be required to make a contribution between 25 and 75 per cent to the cost of training. The co-contribution rate depends on the number of employees, with smaller businesses receiving higher levels of support.
Guidelines and more information are available at www.business.gov.au/industryskillsfund
Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis, throughout the year.