Businesses in the Parkes Electorate are able to apply for support to boost the skills in their workforce with applications now open for the new $476 million Industry Skills Fund.
The fund will provide up to 200,000 training places and skills advice for businesses over the next four years. The Industry Skills Fund is a key element of the Abbott Government Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda.
This is a new way of providing support to businesses that need to upskill or retrain their employees. It will enable businesses to grow, diversify, adopt new technologies, or take advantage of new market opportunities.
I encourage businesses in advanced manufacturing, food and agribusiness, medical technology, mining equipment, and oil, gas and energy resources to apply for the Industry Skills Fund.
Employers will be supported to decide what training is needed in their business, and which training provider they want to work with, to boost their business productivity and competitiveness.
The Fund will primarily target Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to better position themselves for growth opportunities. A business will be considered as ‘positioning for growth’ if the business falls into one or more of the following categories:
§ Diversifying into new or emerging markets and/or;
§ Adopting new or emerging technologies and/or;
§ Entering export markets for the first time and/or
§ Responding to significant new domestic market opportunities and/or;
§ Repositioning because of market driven structural adjustment.
A key tenet of the Industry Skills Fund is that the training must lead to real jobs. The era of training for training’s sake is over.
Businesses wanting support to train workers will be required to make a contribution to the cost of training. The co-contribution rate depends on the number of employees, with smaller businesses receiving higher levels of support.
Guidelines and more information are available at www.business.gov.au. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis, throughout the year.
I would like to wish everyone a happy Australia Day. This is a day when we come together to celebrate our great nation. We are incredibly lucky to live in this country. Australia Day gives us the opportunity to celebrate our history, our diversity and look towards our future.
Congratulations to all of our Australia Day Award recipients and thank you for all that you have contributed to our communities.