201501.21

Dunkley Businesses Encouraged To Apply for $476 M Skills Fund

Wednesday, 21 January 2015:

Dunkley businesses can improve their productivity and competitiveness with funding from the new $476 million Industry Skills Fund.

Under the initiative, Australian businesses will be given funding to provide training and advice to staff to boost their skill set.

I encourage eligible local businesses to apply to the fund, which is in line with my aim to improve education, job-targeted training and employment prospects for the Dunkley and greater Mornington Peninsula- Frankston region.

It is also one of the key elements of the Commonwealth Government’s Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda. The creation of this fund adds to the range of Abbott Government initiatives supporting small businesses as the economic lifeblood of our communities.

Dunkley residents are fantastic at coming up with innovative ways to grow their business, and right across the Dunkley community there are people willing and able to improve their skills and knowledge.

Labor wasted billions of dollars on skills programmes that failed to deliver training that led to real jobs. The era of training for training’s sake is over.

This fund is a new way of supporting local businesses by ensuring staff are meeting their potential and are as skilled as they can be, contributing to our wonderful area’s economy. It will enable businesses to grow, diversify, adopt new technologies, or take advantage of new market opportunities.

Up to 200,000 training places and skills advice are available for businesses over the next four years under the fund.

Dunkley businesses in the following industries should apply for the Industry Skills fund: advanced manufacturing, food and agribusiness, medical technology, mining equipment, and oil, gas and energy resources.

The Fund will primarily target Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to better position them for growth opportunities. A business will be considered as ‘positioning for growth’ if the business falls into one or more of the following categories:
* Diversifying into new or emerging markets
* Adopting new or emerging technologies  * Entering export markets for the first time  * Responding to signification new domestic
market opportunities 
* Repositioning because of market driven structural
adjustment.

Businesses wanting support to train workers will be required to make a contribution to the cost of training. The co-contribution rate depends on the number of employees, with smaller businesses receiving higher levels of support.

Guidelines and more information are available at www.business.gov.au