Claire Field on the budget: few new initiatives but money for VET


A budget with money for VET but few new initiatives and instead a significant investment back into the Department (in the form of an IT upgrade and more staff)

The key skills initiatives announced in last night’s Budget were of three types:

Employment programs with a training component – including: $62.8 million over two years to establish a Local Jobs Program to coordinate employment and training solutions in 25 regions across Australia, * $21.9 million over four years to connect young people (15—24 year olds) to specialist assistance (the Transition to Work service), and to develop online training to increase their job-ready skills, * making the Youth Jobs PaTH (Prepare-Trial-Hire) Internship program demand driven, (replacing the previous capped funding arrangements).

Apprenticeship wage subsidiesAs announced on Sunday: $1.2 billion over four years to increase the number of apprentices and trainees through the Boosting Apprentices Wage Subsidy for those who commence an apprenticeship or traineeship in the next 12 months.

Skills Reform funding of $263 million – of which more than half goes on a new IT system, more public servants, and a new skills list: * $91.6 million over four years (and $1.8 million per year ongoing) for a new Apprenticeships Data Management System, * $52.3 million over three years to provide additional foundation skills places via the Skills for Education and Employment programme * $29.6 million for the National Careers Institute * $1.7 million for the development of a National Skills Priority List for Apprenticeships * $75.9million over four years in additional resourcing for the Department of Education, Skills and Employment Package $11.9 million over three years to continue the VET FEE-HELP (VFH) Redress measure in 2021 and 2022 to support students who incurred debts under the VFH loans scheme due to inappropriate conduct of their private VET provider. This remedy measure will close for new applicants on 31 December 2022.

In addition: there was a good but very modest investment in international engagement (to be met within existing Departmental resources): * $2.0 million over four years (and $5.2 million over ten years to 2030-31) to support approximately 180 international and domestic university students each year to participate in short-term student exchanges with universities in Australia and 16 selected Asian countries. This program will resume once international borders re-open.




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