JobTrainer provides free upskilling for Australian job seekers
As Australia reopens its economy in a post-pandemic world, Australian job seekers entering the workforce in a recession will be able to learn new skills for free or a nominal fee in a new upskilling plan launched by the federal government.
This new upskilling package is designed to provide upskilling courses for nearly 350,000 young Australian job seekers looking to find work in various sectors, including healthcare, transport, manufacturing, and retail.
Australia’s prime minister, Scott Morrison announced that the government is allocating 500 million in commonwealth money in the new upskilling plan branded as JobTrainer.
Access to these short and long courses will develop new skills in growth sectors and create a pathway for job seekers to work towards more qualifications.
This plan comes as news reports state that the unemployment rate in Australia has risen from 14.1 to 16.%, well above the national average of 7.1%.
Morrison said that “COVID-19 is unprecedented but I want Australians to be ready for the sorts of jobs that will come as we build back and recover,”
“The jobs and skills we’ll need as we come out of the crisis are not likely to be the same as those that were lost,” he added.
The programme will provide free access for a range of short courses delivered via TAFEs and private education providers.
Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business Michaelia Cash said the JobTrainer package would form a vital part of the national recovery efforts.
The National Skills Commission will identify which specific skills shortages will be critical to Australia’s economic recovery. Subsequently, the new upskilling plan will address these shortages.
Cash said that the ministry will work with states and territories to develop a list of qualifications and skill sets that will provide Australian job seekers with the skills that are in demand by employers and are critical to the economic recovery.
Cash added, “This package will be essential as the economy rebuilds so that people looking for work can reskill and upskill for in-demand jobs, provide school leavers with a pathway into their careers, and ensure businesses are able to get the skilled workers they need.”
Chief Executive of Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA), Ron Gauci told itwire that the AIIA supported micro-credentialing courses for upskilling.
The association also encourages young people to develop skills in IT and equip themselves with the knowledge and tools to start a career in industries where IT jobs are in-demand.
Gauci said that these key technical areas for upskilling are artificial intelligence and data, cloud computing, cybersecurity, automation, and internet of things.
This new upskilling plan will connect funding to teaching the skills that are important for businesses to operate. It will also simplify the upskilling system by better coordinating subsidies and by improving transparency.
In addition to this announcement, the Australian government is also adding $1.5 billion to its wage subsidy scheme for apprentices and trainees that was announced as part of its first tranche of coronavirus economic support.
The government says states and territories need to sign up to a new Heads of Agreement to access JobTrainer funding.