Treasurer Tim Pallas and Minister for Training and Skills Steve Herbert have today announced a significant boost for Victorian jobseekers and employers looking to hire new staff.

The Andrews Labor Government is providing an additional $70 million dollar package to bolster jobs and training, in response to falling training levels revealed in the latest data.

After four years of cuts to Victoria’s TAFE system by the previous Liberal Government, which saw seven TAFEs close to collapse, the Labor Government is giving TAFEs an additional $50 million to provide more apprenticeships and traineeships.

TAFEs will be able to better meet skill shortages and labour market needs, which will provide more Victorians with a clear pathway to a job, and meet the needs of a changing economy.

A new $20 million Reconnect Program will also help address the drop in early school leavers taking up training, and will provide Back to Work participants with fee relief and VTG exemptions.

The Back to Work Scheme, which is a capped two-year $100 million fund, will be further boosted with a significant increase to the payments to employers to assist with hiring and training of young unemployed and retrenched workers (up to $5000) and for the long term unemployed (up to $12,000).

Employers can also receive payments of up to $4000 where they provide accredited training to the new employee. This will be in addition to any other payment received under the scheme.

The Government is also ensuring that Victorians who find it harder to get their foot in the door are able to get a job. The eligible employee categories will be expanded to include specific provisions relating to sole parent pensioners, disability pensioners, aboriginal unemployed, drought affected farm households and refugees.

The Labor Government hasn’t wasted a second in getting Victoria back to work. More than 45,000 new jobs have been created, and unemployment has fallen from 6.9 to 6.2 per cent.

Quotes attributable to Treasurer Tim Pallas

“While unemployment has fallen and under this Government there have been more Victorians employed than ever before, we still have work to do to ensure that jobs are available and trained people are ready to fill them.”

“We went to the last election with a commitment to get Victorians back to work, and we’re delivering on it.”

“Through close consultation with business and industry, these refinements will lay the path for young and retrenched workers to get a job.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Training and Skills Steve Herbert

“We’re helping Victorians to get the skills they need to find the job they want. That’s what will grow Victoria’s economy, and it’s what we’re pushing ahead with.”

“The Liberals spent four years trashing our training sector. We’re rescuing TAFEs, getting Victorians trained up, and getting them ready for work.”