New funding gives skills training a boost

by Brett Henebery02 Aug 2017
A $1.4m funding boost for a Queensland employment program is giving hundreds of local jobseekers access to new vocational skills.
The $240m four-year Skilling Queenslanders for Work (SQW) Program supports up to 32,000 Queenslanders to find work through a suite of targeted skills and training programs.
The revitalised initiative focuses on developing an individual’s skills, supporting them to begin a learning pathway to a certificate III qualification, and providing direct assistance to those Queenslanders that need extra support to enter and stay in the workforce.
Help Enterprises training services manager, Karen Edden, said the company had received $27,000 to run three programs that focus on supporting disadvantaged youth in the region.
“There is a high unemployment rate for youth in the region,” Karen said.
“Our programs aren't tailored for someone to enter one job; it's more about educating them on their pathways and the stepping stones they can take because there are a lot of opportunities for people to be successful in this area.”
Movement TwentyTwo project director, Sam Lauaki-Tuimaseve, said when he first moved to the country he felt alone in finding work.
“When I moved to Australia, there was no hub to get people into employment,” Sam said. "It was frustrating trying to find work and I've seen families go through the same thing.”
Sam said Movement TwentyTwo received $139,000 to help fund programs for Deception Bay residents.
"We have a lot of age care facilities in the area that are looking for skilled people. There is already a lot of youth looking after their elderly,” he said.
“We're trying to take those skills that they already have and transform them into something that can be taken into the workforce.”
A separate round of funding announced in July helped 840 jobseekers in Townsville and North Queensland to learn the skills and qualifications required to enter the workforce.
Since the Queensland Premier, Anastasia Palaszczuk reinstated Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative, more than $168m has been invested towards training those who are unemployed or underemployed.
Mundingburra MP Coralee O’Rourke said about 9,000 people had gained jobs as a direct result of the initiative, including more than 400 from across North Queensland.
Thuringowa MP, Aaron Harper, said there were 17 other programs that would train people in individual support, business administration, hospitality, community services, allied health assistance and conservation and land management.
“These programs will spread right across the region, including Townsville, Ayr, Ingham and Bowen,” he said in a statement.
“Each project responds to the needs of local job seekers and local employers to develop the skilled, job ready workers needed to grow our economy and benefit the wider community.”

Related stories: