South Australia, the Northern Territory, Australian Capital Territory, Tasmania and New South Wales have signed up to the Skilling Australians Fund (SAF).
The establishment of the SAF is a commitment by the Australian Government for ongoing funding for vocational education and training (VET) with the aim of making a lasting positive impact on skilling Australian workers into the future.
Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills, Karen Andrews, believes the signing of a National Partnership Agreement is a significant step for the vocational education and skills sector.
The SAF agreement means the states and territories will match federal investment to boost VET and grow apprenticeship numbers.
Under the agreement, each state will have the opportunity to develop projects that will be considered for government funding. Priority will be given to projects that support apprenticeships and traineeships in the following key areas:
- occupations in demand
- occupations with a reliance on skilled migration pathways
- industries and sectors of future growth that include, but are not limited to, the following priorities:
- health, ageing, and community and social services
- building and construction
- digital technologies.
- trade apprenticeships
- rural and regional areas
- targeted cohorts
- industries and communities experiencing structural adjustment.
Projects will need to demonstrate engagement with, and support from, industry and employers. Industry is a key partner in ensuring that training delivers the skills industry needs and that skills spending is targeted to jobs in demand. Continued industry engagement in the VET sector and these projects will support ongoing employment outcomes for apprentices and trainees.
CEO of Master Builders Australia, Denita Wawn, said the decision by these five states and territories to join with the Federal Government to provide millions for the funding of apprenticeships and traineeships is a major step in the right direction.
“We predict a shortage of 300,000 skilled workers over the over the next decade and this decision by these jurisdictions will give us a chance to fill that gap, ensuring homes, schools, hospitals, roads and hospitals can be built to meet the community’s needs,” she said.
More information about the Skilling Australians Fund is available here.