The Queensland Government is ushering in the New Year with a transformative investment of $51.7 million, aiming to provide targeted and tailored training, along with employment pathways for up to 7,020 vulnerable job seekers across the state.
The cornerstone of this initiative is the “Skilling Queenslanders for Work” program, a job creation initiative by the government, as revealed in a media statement.
According to the government, this program has been instrumental in assisting unemployed and underemployed individuals in Queensland to acquire essential skills, qualifications, and practical experience, facilitating their entry or retention in the workforce.
Newly appointed Skills Minister Lance McCallum unveiled this substantial investment in Cairns, in collaboration with Northern Joblink, an organisation that has delivered 16 training projects since 2015.
Northern Joblink serves as a testament to the positive outcomes achievable through the Skilling Queenslanders for Work program.
Since its inception in 2015, over $684 million has been committed to the Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative.
This substantial investment has played a pivotal role in bolstering the workforce across various industries, including construction, primary industries, hospitality, and community services.
The latest round of funding under Skilling Queenslanders for Work will benefit 225 community-based organisations.
These grants aim to assist participants in overcoming barriers such as social isolation, learning difficulties, and mental health challenges.
Simultaneously, the program will equip them with the necessary skills and experience to transition towards further education and employment.
Some of the recipients of the grants include the Fiji Community Association in Far North Queensland, Gympie, and Cairns; Sharehouse Youth Programs Inc in Townsville; Mackay Canegrowers Limited in Cassowary Coast; Beyond DV in Brisbane, and the Queensland African Communities Council in Brisbane.
Minister McCallum stated that the government is committed to expediting job placement for Queenslanders.
He mentioned that Queensland businesses require skilled workers across various sectors, and the government is dedicated to providing training in areas of high demand.
“The next round will open for applications very soon, so I encourage businesses to check out the initiative and how to apply,” the minister remarked.
Minister for Tourism and Sport Michael Healy stated that the tourism and hospitality sector in Queensland requires more skilled workers across diverse age groups, cultures, and backgrounds.
“The Skilling Queenslanders for Work program plays a vital role in creating good job opportunities for those who’ve found it tough to find work,” Healy said.
This investment builds on the success of the previous funding round for 2023-24, where $39.6 million was allocated for 162 projects, supporting over 5300 disadvantaged Queenslanders in their journey to join the workforce.
The first funding round for Skilling Queenslanders for Work in 2024–25 is set to commence on 29 January 2024, providing further opportunities for job seekers to access training and employment pathways.
This initiative underscores the Queensland Government’s commitment to fostering a skilled and inclusive workforce, enhancing employment prospects for individuals facing unique challenges in the job market.