AIIA endorses JobTrainer program

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Friday, 17 July, 2020

AIIA endorses JobTrainer program

The AIIA has welcomed the federal government’s $2 billion funding package for plugging Australia’s skills shortages, including the JobTrainer plan to equip school leavers and the unemployed to learn new skills.

The government has announced plans to invest $500 million towards providing up to an additional 340,700 training places to help school leavers and job seekers access short and long courses to develop new skills in growth sectors such as IT.

The federal funding will be matched equally by the state and territory governments. The initiative covers 50% of the wages paid to apprentices and trainees, up to $7000 per quarter. In addition, the initiative will also be expanded beyond the small business already covered to mid-sized businesses with up to 200 employees.

The government will also allocate $1.5 billion to expand the wage incentive program designed to help keep apprentices in work.

The AIIA has announced it supports micro-credentialling courses and praised the government for helping address areas of high demand for skills.

But the industry association has urged the government to go further by maintaining a portion of the funding allocated for the JobKeeper scheme for training credits to allow employers to reskill their workforce.

In a new white paper, the AIIA also recommended implementing a nationally recognised lifelong learning framework with skills passport to capture digital skills across VET, university and micro-credential certification, as well as issuing government credit to employees to promote lifelong learning and upskilling.

“The AIIA support the Prime Minister’s JobTrainer announcement and are encouraged to lead an increased profile of the available IT training packages — in turn, reducing barriers of entry for potential workers into the digital economy,” AIIA CEO Ron Gauci said.

“The funding is a step in the right direction for a post-COVID recovery Australia; however, we need more focus on agile training packages that are able to react faster to the emerging opportunities and new skills required for the technology industry. It is clear that the system of training to address skills needed by employers is fractured; both the policy environment and the qualification levers are siloed and inconsistent.”

Image credit: © Marongiu

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