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Step into Skills

Federal Labor has a positive plan to support new jobs as our economy comes to the end of the China resources investment boom and we tackle the challenges of the future.  Part of that is making sure we don’t have all our eggs in one basket – we need to be growing new industries and making sure our young people have the basic skills they need to set a path to decent and secure jobs.

Today the Prime Minister announced Step into Skills - a $35 million initiative (over three years), that will provide around 8,900 training places.  Funding for this project is already included in the budget.

Unemployment in Australia is very low – just 5.7% - but for those who haven’t completed their Year 12 Certificate or equivalent non-school qualifications, that number is more like 9.2%.  There is a group of young people who often fall through the cracks.  That is, those who come out of the school system but are not ready in terms of their skills set to head into formal vocational training.

The Prime Minister today announced that Labor will build on a strong track record of supporting education and training, by introducing the Step Into Skills program.

The Step into Skills program aims to empower and educate its participants, and will provide:

  •  8,900 training places to the most disadvantaged young people between 16-24 with  $35 million investment over three years.
  •  Training in core employability skills such as language, literacy and numeracy.
  •  Simulated work experience opportunities to ensure that young people are equipped with the practical skills they need to secure employment, such as communication and time management skills.

Young people who do not complete Year 12 or a non-school qualification often lack basic literacy, numeracy and employability skills, locking them out of the jobs market. 

Labor’s positive plan will support jobs and give disadvantaged young people the basic skills they need to set a path to decent and secure jobs.

Imagine you’re a young mum with a mental health condition who needs the flexibility of TAFE to juggle work and study and supporting your family.  A place at TAFE or in training could mean learning the computer skills you need for the job you never thought you could have.

Imagine you’ve graduated from high school with a passion for metal work and the grades in that subject to prove it, but your disability has made it difficult to pursue.  TAFE and training would give you vital hands on professional experience in your dream industry.

Or you’re just 15 years of age, growing up in a single-parent family and you’ve been forced into the workforce to help your family get by.  TAFE would mean the flexibility to both work and get the skills you need for the job you’ve always wanted.  

Maybe English is your second language, you’ve had a rough family life, and it’s meant your grades at school have suffered, but you really want to work in IT.  A place in TAFE or a training centre can grant you access to IT professionals and quarterly seminars, state of the art equipment and placement programs.

Now imagine how your life is changed when you get access to relevant training and are able to secure a good job. Imagine the multi-generational impact, and the difference this makes to your children and grandchildren’s future.

Labor has always invested in education, skills and training – because it changes lives.

What we’ve achieved so far:

  • Record funding for training – over $19 billion in funding over the past five years.
  • A national training entitlement to a Certificate III level qualification under the $1.75 billion Skills Reform National Partnership.
  • Access to a Trade Training Centre for every senior high school student in Australia by 2018.
  • Access to an apprenticeship for 70,000 Australians through the Kickstart Initiative.

But we can’t stop there.  We simply can’t afford to have so many young people lacking the basic skills to enter the workforce. The Step Into Skills will provide its participants with the confidence and ability to succeed in the workforce.


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