State Government to overhaul vocational training in QLD

THE State Government is hoping to improve training outcomes for Queenslanders as it launches its new Vocational Educational and Training (VET) plan today.

Minister for Education, Training and Employment John-Paul Langbroek said the plan detailed how the Queensland Government would be investing $615 million in 2014-2015 in order to address skills shortages and boost productivity.

"The Queensland Government has an ambitious program of reform to revitalise the VET sector and the 2014-2015 Annual VET Investment Plan is crucial to that," Mr Langbroek said.

"It lays the foundation for a sustainable and responsive sector, to ensure that Queensland's economy is supported by a first class training system.

"It will ensure growth in the four pillars of the economy - tourism, agriculture, resources and construction and increase job prospects as we promised at the election.

"A brighter future is ours for the taking and this is a strong plan that plays a fundamental role in ensuring that Queensland remains a great state with great opportunity for generations to come."

Mr Langbroek said the Plan provided a framework for training linked to employment outcomes and heralded a new approach to training investment in Queensland.

"The Investment Plan outlines a new funding model for government investment in training and provides for greater transparency in government decision-making," he said.

"One of its highlights is the introduction of full contestability by 1 July 2014, giving greater student choice and industry-guided investment in training.

"Key elements include the government investing $225 million in the training of apprentices and trainees through User Choice, part of our commitment to create an extra 10,000 apprenticeship commencements.

"We will also invest $155 million to support Queenslanders without a formal qualification to achieve their first post-school certificate III level qualification, which is considered entry-level for employment in most industry sectors."

Mr Langbroek said industry and employers would also have the opportunity to partner with government on training solutions to address their workforce needs in priority areas, through a $10 million Industry Partnerships Strategy.

"Our pre-qualified supplier network will lead to greater choice for individuals and employers and foster greater innovation and competition in the training market in Queensland," he said.

"These programs will help achieve our government's aim of economic and social prosperity for all Queenslanders, by boosting productivity, increasing the number of people in the workforce and minimising skills shortage."

Mr Langbroek thanked the Ministerial Industry Commission for helping to develop the plan through its industry engagement and identifying opportunities for industry partnerships.

"In particular I acknowledge Assistant Minister for Technical and Further Education, Saxon Rice, the Chair of the Ministerial Industry Commission.

"Ms Rice delivered the Commission's inaugural Annual Skills Priority Report outlining industry advice on skilling priorities for Queensland's economy."

Mr Langbroek said the VET strategy was a key element in the Newman Government's Great skills. Real opportunities. action plan, launched in 2013.

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