Boost to skills and training vital to transitioning workforce

Friday 15 July, 2016

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) believes the boost in funding for skills and training will ensure Queensland is on track to developing the skills needed to power the economy.

The Queensland Government has announced an increase in investment towards skills and training of $56.1 million as outlined in the 2016-17 Annual VET Investment Plan, to reach a total $810.7 million for this financial year.

CCIQ Director of Advocacy Nick Behrens said the additional funding will hopefully see the VET system’s reputation “turn a corner” and further enhance the quality of training provided to students.

“While Queensland hasn’t had the problems of unscrupulous providers as much as our southern state counterparts, the reputation of VET has taken a hit over the past few years,” he said.

“The extra funding should be directed towards firming up entry requirements for providers, enriching the quality of training and most importantly focus on improving student outcomes.

Mr Behrens said Queensland already faced a number of unique workforce challenges and quality education, as well as the equal access to education.

“Businesses continue to worry about the availability of sufficiently skilled people to meet their organisation’s future needs,” he said.

“A recent CCIQ survey of employer views towards VET showed only 46 per cent of businesses are confident there will be available employees in the future for high level and management jobs.

“Confidence levels were higher when it came to the availability of skilled people for low to intermediate level jobs at 73 per cent to 65 per cent respectively.”

Mr Behrens said increased funding to education and training was critical to growing our economy, particularly as Queensland transitioned from the resources boom to a more diversified economy.

“We know Queensland’s labour market will be fundamentally reshaped by technological advances and a number of economic challenges over the next two decades,” he said.

“There is a very real risk of being left behind both nationally and internationally if we fail to implement progressive reforms to skills and training.”

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