DEEWR moves to address skills shortages

The Federal Government has launched the Productivity Places Program to fund 20,000 new skills training places from 1 April 2008.

Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) interested in participating in the Productivity Places Program can now access expression of interest forms.

These 20,000 new skilled training places beginning in April aims to ensure that workers with improved skills will enter the workforce as early as June 2008.

The 20,000 skilled training places will be focused on areas of acute skills shortages including mining and construction, health and community services, motor mechanics, as well as service industries.

The government has allocated funds for 450,000 training places over four years. The training places will be delivered in an industry-driven system, to ensure that training is more responsive to the needs of enterprises and individuals.
Of the total training places, 175,000 will be allocated to job seekers.

The Program will be delivered in a progressively reformed system which will shift the focus from funding training with little regard to employment outcomes or the needs of the economy, to an increasingly responsive system driven by industry demand.

According to the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, the mining industry is currently experiencing the highest vacancy to employment ratio, with around 3.7 vacancies for every 100 people employed in the industry.

Wages growth is also strongest in the mining industry, with the Wage Price Index increasing at 5.1 per cent through the year to the December quarter 2007.


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