The region’s peak policy and advocacy voice for business has welcomed the pre-budget announcement from Treasurer Matt Kean and Minister for Skills and Training Alister Henskens to allocate $82.7 million over four years to allow 70,000 people to receive fee-free training. Business Hunter says the announcement was made as part of a plan by the NSW Government to help more people get the skills they need for the jobs they want now and into the future.
Business Hunter CEO Bob Hawes said the measure was encouraging and had a lot of potential to clear the barriers some of the region’s workers are experiencing to upgrade their trade or training to meet growing job transition and opportunities.
“Businesses are struggling with attracting and retaining a workforce that is equipped to meet new markets or operations,” Mr Hawes said.
“We know cost to train is an inhibitor for some to progress into various programs. I’m hoping the eligibility of this fee-free training package will be broad so it not only motivates existing workers and businesses to upskill but also incentivises people to enter or re-enter the workforce at this desperate time of worker shortages.
“We’re also pleased the state government seems to be making a play in the budget to help our economy address the workforce problems and are hopeful these measures will assist.
“It would be oversimplifying the complex issues for us to think this funding alone will unlock all the blockages to predicting workforce planning requirements, and industry needs to capitalise on government investment and make the most of it as one part of a bigger picture.
“There is a lot more we need to plan for and implement at the business level alongside government, and I’m looking forward to our Powering Business 2050 summit on 22 and 23 June where we hope to lift the lid on some practical solutions to these issues now and well into the future,” Mr Hawes said.