The Government will provide $476.0mn over four years to establish the Industry Skills Fund (ISF) from 1 January 2015 to support the training needs of small to medium enterprises which cannot be readily met by the national training system. Industries targeted will include: health and biomedical products; mining, oil and gas equipment technology and services; and advanced manufacturing, including defence and aerospace.
The ISF is expected to deliver 121,500 training places (providing participants with qualifications, skill sets and recognition of both prior learning and current competencies) and 74,300 support services (including mentoring and foundation skills) over four years. Businesses will be required to make co-contributions towards the cost of training on a sliding scale depending on the size of the enterprise.
The ISF will replace the following ten skills and training programs from 1 January 2015, which were collectively worth $1.0bn over five years from 2013-14. This represents a significant reduction in Government support for workplace skills.
- National Partnership Agreement on Training Places for Single Parents;
- Accelerated Australian Apprenticeships Programme;
- Australian Apprenticeships Mentoring Programme;
- National Workforce Development Fund;
- Workplace English Language and Literacy Programme;
- Alternative Pathways Programme;
- Apprenticeship to Business Owner Programme;
- Productive Ageing through Community Education;
- Australian Apprenticeships Access Programme; and
- Step Into Skills Programme (including additional savings of $0.8mn in 2013-14 by not commencing the programme as scheduled).