Gov’t injects fresh funding into Tasmania’s workforce development

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The Tasmanian Government has launched a new initiative aimed at bolstering the state’s workforce by providing increased subsidised training opportunities for job seekers and assisting employers in enhancing the skills of their existing workers. 

This program, known as the “Building a Skilled Workforce,” is administered through Skills Tasmania and aims to facilitate career transitions, upskilling, lifelong learning, and improved access to training for disadvantaged Tasmanians.

Minister for Skills and Workforce Growth Felix Ellis outlined that the program consists of two primary streams – the Jobseeker Fund and the Existing Worker Fund. 

Both streams are open to endorsed registered training organisations across the state, ensuring a comprehensive approach to training and development.

Minister Ellis explained, “By maintaining the two streams, we can make sure that there is dedicated funding and training opportunities for people at varying stages of their careers.”

He explained, “Whether it is getting into work and a career for the first time, getting back into work after a break, expanding current job options, or seeking a new career direction, this program aims to have suitable training available where people need it.”

The Jobseeker Fund will provide subsidies for nationally recognized training, learner support, and work placements for individuals who are jobseekers or underemployed. It also caters to those looking to upskill or gain new skills outside of their current employment. 

On the other hand, the Existing Worker Fund offers grants for nationally recognized training, focusing on skill sets or qualifications for existing workers, including those in casual, part-time, or full-time employment, looking to broaden their skills and career prospects.

Minister Ellis underscored the importance of making the program accessible for regional learners and individuals who have encountered barriers to accessing funding in the past. 

The government has also collaborated with training providers to streamline the funding process, ensuring that the financial support reaches its intended beneficiaries more swiftly and efficiently.

“The Building a Skilled Workforce program will deliver job and career opportunities for Tasmanians while providing our industries with the skilled workers they need to increase productivity and drive growth,” stated Minister Ellis.

According to the government, this announcement aligns with recent national figures, which show a five per cent increase in government-funded vocational education and training (VET) students in Tasmania for the first quarter of this year compared to the same period in 2022. 

Moreover, there has been a significant surge in enrollments for short courses, with enrollments in locally recognized skill sets increasing by almost 104 per cent compared to the same period in 2022.

Applications for grants under the Building a Skilled Workforce program are open to Skills Tasmania’s endorsed registered training organisations and will close on Friday, 27 October 2023. 

Detailed information about the programs, including grant guidelines, can be found at Skills Tasmania’s official website.