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Strengthening the Vocational Education Training Sector

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Assistant Minister for Education Simon Birmingham

The Government is investing around $6 billion this year to support training that gives apprentices and vocational students the high quality training they need for modern Australian workplaces, said Assistant Minister for Education and Training Senator Simon Birmigham.

This includes funding through the Government’s signature Industry Skills Fund, to help employers to skill their staff so they can grow their businesses, increase exports and create more jobs.

The $664 million Industry Skills Fund will support more than 250,000 training places and support services including skills advice for micro, small and medium businesses.

The 2015 Budget also provides for record Government funding to enable students to undertake higher level diploma and advanced diploma training through the VET FEE-HELP scheme.

The Government has also introduced tougher new Standards for Registered Training Organisations, and continues delivery of $68.7 million over four years to enable the national training regulator, the Australian Skills Quality Authority, to undertake regulatory reform and enforce the standards.

The Government is making sure industry is deciding what standards students must be able to meet through their training to ensure their training makes them work-ready, with plans to implement the new Training Package development model announced on 21 April 2015.

Young employed people will receive skills linked to real jobs, and support to be able to re-engage with work, training or school, through the Government’s two youth training pilots, which are being trialled in 32 sites across Australia.

Under the Training for Employment Scholarships, around 7,500 scholarships of up to $7,500 are assisting employers take on and train unemployed young people.

The Youth Employment Pathways programme offers up to $2,000 of assistance to eligible community service organisations to help disengaged 15-18 year olds get back into school, start VET or move into the workforce.

From 1 July, the Government’s Australian Apprenticeships Support Network will match apprentices to their trade and their employer, and support them throughout their apprenticeship so they complete their training and go on to important work and careers.

More than 350,000 apprentices will be supported through the Apprenticeships Network in the first year, for which the Budget provides up to $200 million in 2015-16. Around 78,000 employers are expected to also receive incentive payments in the first year to help with the costs of employing and training an apprentice.

More than 22,000 apprentices have accessed the Government’s Trade Support Loans program to assist them with the costs of living and learning while undertaking their apprenticeship.

The 2015 Budget provides $1.8 billion to continue the Government’s significant funding to states and territories to support their training systems.

This year more than 1.5 million students will gain important skills and nationally recognised qualifications through assistance provided to Australia’s high quality TAFE, community colleges and private training providers.