The rise in trainee and apprenticeship numbers is showing the Palaszczuk Government’s record investment of more than $1 billion in training and skills is paying off, with people on the Fraser Coast getting the qualifications they need for the jobs of the future.
Minister for Training and Skills Development Di Farmer said ‘RE-THINK’, the theme of this year’s National Skills Week, encouraged Queenslanders to take a good look at the many and varied careers available through vocational training.
“Wherever you are in Queensland, you deserve the opportunity to get world class training to help you get the right job,” Minister Farmer said.
“There has never been a more important time to do this, and that’s why the Palaszczuk Government put investing in training and skills at the heart of our $14.2 billion COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan.”
Member for Hervey Bay, Adrian Tantari, said the government was supporting young people on the Fraser Coast with free training.
“We have free apprenticeships and free TAFE for under 25s across 165 priority skills areas including construction, health, and disability support services,” Mr Tantari said.
“And the figures show that it’s paying off: 45,700 apprentices and trainees started in the last financial year, which is a huge 56.6% rise on the year before.
“That includes over 800 right here on the Fraser Coast.
“Queensland is also the national leader in school-based apprenticeships and traineeships with 57% of the national total.”
Member for Maryborough, Bruce Saunders, said having the right facilities was vital to ensure Queenslanders continue to get world-class training.
“That’s why we have invested over $220 million into renewing and revitalising TAFEs across Queensland since 2017 with another $100 million to come.
“Investment here on the Fraser Coast includes over $1.2 million for the Hervey Bay Nursing and Allied Health Upgrades.
“This will ensure our apprentices and trainees have world class facilities to train in and get the skills they need to change their lives.”
With her youngest son starting prep this year, Maryborough mother-of-two Rebecka Mighell was looking to do something for herself again and began to look at ways of reskilling and returning to work in something she was passionate about.
Following her five-year-old son’s ADHD diagnosis, Rebecka’s experience with community organisations and support networks ignited her interest in the industry and inspired her to want to give back, so she chose to enrol in a Certificate III in Community Services at TAFE Queensland.
“Although I worked briefly in childcare after high school, I’ve been out of the workforce for nine years while raising my children and the prospect of diving back into study was both exciting and daunting at the same time,” Rebecka said.
Rebecka said the experience has been much smoother than she expected and has been made all the easier thanks to JobTrainer funding.
“The JobTrainer funding has definitely helped. I needed to think about work because we were struggling financially, but I was nervous about studying because of the cost, so the funding eliminated that concern,” Rebecka said.
“Any money you can save when you have a family is great, so I am very grateful I don’t have to worry about forking out money to study.
“Most importantly though, I’m on the path to doing something that I love.”
Minister Farmer said vocational education and training was vital to Queensland’s economy.
“We know that if you get the right training, you’re more likely to get the right job,” Minister Farmer said.
“I’d encourage every single person reading this to go and look up all the rewarding, lucrative and prestigious career opportunities available through vocational education and training.”
National Skills Week, which runs from August 23 until August 29, is an opportunity to raise awareness of the power of vocational education and training and the wide range of qualifications that lead to rewarding careers now and into the near future.
For more information about National Skills Week visit nationalskillsweek.com.au, or to learn more about subsidised training opportunities available to eligible Queenslanders visit desbt.qld.gov.au.
Media contact: Kate Talbot, 0439 803 211