Canberrans in need of reskilling or new skills will have more options after a $16.75 million extension of the ACT’s free vocational training program.
The expansion of JobTrainer, jointly funded by the ACT and Federal Governments, will mean up to 2500 additional training places will be made available and delivered over the next two years.
Skills Minister Chris Steel said that for the first time, eligibility for free training under JobTrainer will be extended to all Canberrans regardless of age or employment status in the areas of aged care, early childhood and digital skills.
“This recognises the shortage of qualified workers in these industry sectors,” he said.
JobTrainer is usually open to young people aged 17 to 24 who have finished school, and job seekers.
The Government says the new funding is part of its plan to create 250,000 local jobs by 2025, and will focus on the priority needs of the ACT economy.
The new funding will also provide places in pre-employment, pre-apprenticeship and foundation skills programs to help other vulnerable Canberrans who struggle to find a job, including the long-term unemployed.
JobTrainer will provide a mix of full qualifications and short courses, but 575 training places will be reserved for aged care and 170 places reserved for digital skills.
The first training places will be made available before the end of 2021 to help ACT school leavers into further education and training.
The ACT Government, in partnership with the Commonwealth, is also providing free training and short courses through the Infection Control Training program to help local businesses keep their workers and customers safe.
This program will support Canberra’s safe and gradual reopening by giving workers in industries such as retail, hospitality and personal services access to nationally accredited training on how to operate in a COVID-safe way.
The Future Skills for Future Jobs grants program designed to boost the number of apprenticeships also opened this week. It will provide up to $1 million for innovative projects delivered in partnership with industry.
Chief Minister Andrew Barr said the expanded JobTrainer program and continued investment in skills were an important part of meeting workforce challenges as the economy emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We know it’s been a difficult couple of years for Canberra’s young people and those who have lost employment, but these free training places are a huge opportunity to get the skills needed to build a successful career in many different industries,” he said.
Mr Steel said the additional free places would support school leavers and job seekers to gain qualifications in areas where there is a real need and where the jobs will be as the ACT comes out the other side of the pandemic.
“I’d encourage local businesses to take advantage of the free infection control training available for all workers to get ready for Canberra’s safe re-opening,” he said.
“Understanding how to operate in a COVID-safe way for your sector will be important for keeping our whole community safe in the months ahead.”
To learn more, visit the Skills Canberra website.