Government announces new JobTrainer measures to address ECEC shortages
The Government will introduce new measures to equip Australia’s workforce and combat resource shortages in struggling industries and sectors, including early childhood education and care (ECEC), Federal Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business, Stuart Robert, announced earlier this week.
The measures announced come after the latest State of the Skills Report delivered by the National Skills Commission, which found that early childhood education was a growth sector, with a 300 per cent change in the number of professionals in the sector over the last 20 years, in response to growing demand.
In response to the findings the Minister said his Government will “deliver a range of measures designed to build workforce capability, support job mobility and ensure challenges such as workforce shortages, the accelerated pace of change with increased use of digital technology, and more flexible ways of working” were addressed.
“I’m also announcing a range of measures designed to help Australians connect to meaningful employment and inform and empower industry to play the important role of attracting and retaining employees,” he added.
The Government will spend $8 million to increase the number of Job Fairs in regional and metropolitan areas and connect more Australians with local jobs as well asl expanding the successful Launch into Work program by investing $74.7 million over 4 years to prepare job seekers for vacancies through work experience, training, and mentoring.
“We will also expand the 1800 CAREER service to Australians aged 25 and older who are self-managing their search for work using the Government’s online employment services,” the Minister added.
Over $10 million will be invested in a three year period with a view to ‘fast tracking’ entry into the workforce through apprenticeship and trainee programs, including ‘intensive work’ with the NSW and South Australian governments to pilot novel approaches to accelerate qualification completion time.
Migrants to Australia will also be supported to take up careers in area of high demand, with the Government pledging to spend nearly $20 million through to 2023-24 to deliver “faster, cheaper skills assessments” which will acknowledge the valuable skills migrants have brought with them and their ability to contribute to the Australian workforce.
Targeted migration settings will continue to be considered holistically, informed by Australia’s broader domestic workforce objectives to ensure they complement each other.
“Our vision for skills reform and a funding model that provides national consistency for students, underpinned by improvements to the collection, timeliness and transparency of data across the Vocational Education Training (VET) system, will ensure we’re training Australians with the right skills to get the jobs in demand,” Minister Robert added.
Jobactive providers will be called to take a “stronger, more proactive brokerage role” in identifying local employment opportunities and referring job seekers to suitable work.
“Both job seekers and jobactive providers must be outcome-focused, with providers working closely with their region’s Employment Facilitator to develop strategies that better connect job seekers with local business needs, and support job seekers to upskill so they are ready to take up work when opportunities arise,” the Minister emphasised.
Older Australians seeking employment will have extra support from 1 January 2022 through to June 2024, with the Government providing over $49 million to double the number of places in The Skills Checkpoint for Older Workers Program and to increase the number of Skills and Training Incentives available, to assist older Australians to adopt a lifelong approach to learning, upskilling and reskilling, all while reducing their reliance on income support.
Aged pensioners who choose to re-enter the workforce or increase their work hours, the Minister shared, will benefit from an ‘easier return’ to the Age Pension if they exceed the income limit due to their employment and will be able to keep their Pensioner Concession Card for two years.
In addition the Government will invest $10 million to develop an integrated data tool which will deliver a ‘comprehensive, near real-time, regional view’ of Australia’s workforce, skill, and labour market.
“What I am announcing today ensures workforce policy and sector-specific workforce plans are data-driven, equip and enable Australians to take up available work, remove barriers to participation, activate industry and target migration to complement the domestic workforce and fill skills and labour gaps,” the Minister concluded.
To read the announcement in full please see here.
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