The Australian Government has launched a new $558 million National Workforce Development Fund that will provide support over four years for training and workforce development in the areas of current and future skills need.
The funding is available to enterprises, professional associations, industry bodies and employment service providers to meet identified current and future business and workforce development needs.
Government funding will be supplemented by an employer contribution which varies for small, medium and large enterprises.
All enterprises from Local Government and Water Industries can apply to participate in the program (there is a section in the guidelines which is ambiguous about some government entities but this has been clarified). The “priority occupations list” referred to is very broad and most roles in our industry would fit the classifications, however it is possible to apply to have new roles included as part of the process.
Copies of relevant documents are available here:
- 2011/12 projects must involve a partnership of at least one employer/ industry body/ enterprise, Government Skills Australia and one Registered Training Organisation.
- There is a focus on workforce planning and skills needs analyses to develop training solutions which are beyond your standard training commitments.
- Proposals must be submitted by 30 September.
- Training must commence by 31 March 2012 and be completed by 31 December 2014.
- The requirements for workers to be trained are not very restrictive.
- For new workers, Cert II up to Vocational Graduate Diploma are eligible. Minimum Cert III for existing workers.
- If the application is for skill sets, rather than a full qualification, the worker must hold a Cert III or higher. Skill sets are single units or combinations of units of competency from an endorsed training package which link to a licence or regulatory requirement or defined industry need.
- Not eligible if training can be covered by other State or Commonwealth sources.
- Training must offer recognition of prior learning.
- Support services which are not provided through another government fund may be eligible (e.g. mentoring, other learning support, literacy and numeracy training).
- Costs including RTO pricing need to be included in the application.
- They look favourably on having a supporting workforce plan/ training needs analysis.
- Funding provided by the Commonwealth: 67% for organisations with up to 99 employees, 50% for 100-199 and 34% for 200 and above. Note this is only applicable on training costs.
Please contact Dave Cameron (firstname.lastname@example.org, 07 3000 2257) if you are interested in qldwater helping to coordinate an application.