A significant expansion of the JobTrainer program has created an additional 1000 free training places for young Canberrans or the unemployed.
The places are intended to funnel people into industries experiencing urgent and critical skills shortages such as aged and disability care, the digital and cyber industries, construction and renewables.
Minister for Skills Chris Steel said he’s aware of the many businesses crying out for workers as the post-COVID-19 economic recovery continues to accelerate.
The registered training organisations involved in this latest round of JobKeeper were required to demonstrate that there are employment opportunities available at the end of the training, Mr Steel noted.
Currently, a record number of apprentices – more than 7000 – are being trained in Canberra, a 14 per cent increase on 2019 levels.
Third-year carpentry apprentice Mitch O’Brien is excited to be fully qualified and finished with his training so he can put his skills to good use in the community.
“There’s definitely a lot of demand for carpenters and any trade really because there aren’t enough of us,” he said.
Mr O’Brien said the most rewarding part of his job is seeing builds be completed from start to finish.
“When we get there, there’s just a concrete slab and then by the time we leave, there’s a whole house or multiple townhouses,” he explained.
Apprentices like Mr O’Brien will be desperately needed once they are qualified as the ACT’s extremely low unemployment rate of just 3 per cent is making it more difficult than usual for businesses to attract qualified people to fill shortages.
Major projects such as the hospital expansion will also put pressure on the construction industry, which experienced an “unexpected” increase in demand during the pandemic and is struggling to catch up.
“We know that industry is crying out. This is the opportunity … to get apprentices in, to get supported, and to have more employers take them on,” Mr Steel said.
The government will also be looking to address issues like housing affordability to encourage people to make the move to the ACT for work.
“We do know that we have to look at the broader factors,” Mr Steel said.
The ACT Government hopes to have 250,000 local jobs by 2025. The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics Labour Force data shows there are 234,000 people employed in the ACT.
So far, more than 2800 people have enrolled in a free JobTrainer course. The program is open to young people aged 17 to 24 and Canberrans who are currently unemployed. People can undertake both formal qualifications as well as shorter courses for smaller qualifications such as:
- Working with vulnerable people card
- Construction white card
- Asbestos awareness
- Crystalline silica dust
- Social media and digital literacy.
The latest release of JobTrainer includes places in qualifications such as:
- Certificate II in Construction
- Certificate IV in Ageing Support
- Certificate IV in Mental Health
- ACT Renewable Energy Skill Set (Repair, Design, Installation, Problem Solving)
- ACT Photo-voltaic Systems Skill Set (Battery Storage Design and Maintenance)