by Christoph von Spesshardt and Dr Michael Zettinig
On 16 July, the Australian Government has announced a major new program to improve skills by retraining and upskilling workers. The value of the program is up to $2.5 billion if the States and Territories match the Commonwealth government funding.
This funding will allow for up to 340,700 additional training places to help school leavers and job seekers improve their skills. $1.5 billion of the funding is targeted at businesses to keep their apprentices and trainees through a wage subsidy scheme.
The German-Australian Chamber of Industry and Commerce welcomes the announcement. With the experience from Germany, our member companies in the German-Australian business community know how important skills and training are for Australia’s future prosperity and the COVID-19 recovery.
It is particularly important to see that the focus of the program is on job-ready skills that are in demand by industry. This is similar to the “Berufsausbildung” system in Germany where a comprehensive skills training is based on the actual requirements of businesses because it takes place both in companies and training centres. This system has helped significantly to keep advanced manufacturing as a pillar of the German economy and small to medium-sized businesses (SME) internationally competitive. This is particularly true for medium-sized businesses from the so called “Mittelstand” that are often innovative world leaders in their niche market.
The German Chamber is ready to work with its member companies and the Australian Government as well as State and Territory Governments to fine-tune the announced program based on industry needs as German Chambers Abroad (AHK) do in many countries as part of our global network.
German Chamber Executive Director Christoph von Spesshardt:
“Industry and governments should work together to address short-term and long-term skills needs in Australia with a particular focus on growth sectors such as advanced manufacturing, energy and defence. International best-practices should be considered help Australian businesses and workers to recover from the economic impact of COVID-19 as soon as possible.”
The Australian Government announcement can be found here: https://www.dese.gov.au/news/jobtrainer-skills-package-announced
And the media statement by the Prime Minister here: https://www.pm.gov.au/media/jobtrainer-skills-package-economic-recovery-and-growth