The Liberal National Government will commit over $525 million to ensure Australia’s vocational education and training (VET) sector delivers the skills critical to the economy now and into the future.

The Government’s Delivering Skills for Today and Tomorrow package responds to the expert review into Australia’s VET sector led by the Hon Steven Joyce, which set out a vision for VET as a modern and flexible alternative to classroom-based learning. This Package will ensure Australians develop the skills they need to succeed in a changing workplace and will provide businesses (including those in rural and regional areas) with a pipeline of qualified workers they need to grow and prosper.

The Delivering Skills for Today and Tomorrow package will:

  • Create up to 80,000 additional apprentices over five years in priority skill shortage areas through a new apprenticeship incentive ($156.3 million over four years from 2019-20 and an additional $108.0 million in 2023-24).
  • Increase support provided to people with lower levels of education attainment to enable them to gain the skills they need to secure jobs now and into the future. This will include four pilots in remote Indigenous communities ($62.4 million).
  • Address youth unemployment by providing 400 scholarships in regions throughout Australia ($8.2 million).
  • Raise the profile of the VET sector and improve career advice to young Australians and workers transitioning careers by establishing a National Careers Institute and a National Careers Ambassador ($32.4 million).
  • Develop skills in areas of need by building innovative partnerships between schools, employers and the VET sector through a new competitive grants program ($10.0 million).
  • Promote a nation-wide approach to skills development, including through better identifying areas of skills shortages, and enhance the role of industry in designing training courses by establishing a National Skills Commission and piloting Skills Organisations across the country in the key areas of human services care and digital technologies including cyber security ($90.0 million).
  • Provide greater job opportunities for young people in regions with high youth unemployment through ten Training Hubs that create better linkages between schools and local industry ($50.6 million).
  • Streamline incentives for employers of apprentices and trainees and modernise the skills needs list ($44.0 million).

Minister for Small and Family Business, Skills and Vocational Education, Senator Michaelia Cash said the Liberal National Government will ensure Australia’s VET sector is accessible, high quality and responsive to industry needs.

“The Liberal National Government’s Delivering Skills for Today and Tomorrow package enhances VET as a direct pathway into Australia’s labour market – be it for their first job, for career progression, to transition to new industries or to create their own business,” Minister Cash said.

“It provides clear and reliable careers guidance to inform study choices, provides foundational skills so no one is left behind and will get more apprentices in jobs in areas of demand.

“Our new apprenticeship incentive will address priority areas of skills shortage for traditional trades including carpenters and plumbers. We are providing an additional $4,000 incentive payment to employers and $2,000 to apprentices.

“We are streamlining the process for employers to work out what support they are eligible for when engaging a new apprentice. Delivering Skills for Today and Tomorrow package simplifies the current Australian Apprenticeship Incentives Program by consolidating the more than 30 current payment categories into 14.

“These significant investments by the Liberal National Government are a significant part of our economic plan that will see 1.25 million jobs created over the next five years.

“I thank Steven Joyce and the members of the taskforce team for their enthusiasm, hard work and dedication to strengthening Australia’s VET system. I also thank the large number of stakeholders who contributed to this once-in-a-generation review”.

Additional information about the package is available at www.education.gov.au/skills-and-training-budget-overview-2019-20