Skilling Queenslanders for Work program opening soon

Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development
The Honourable Di Farmer

After helping more than 36,000 Queenslanders to into jobs, the Palaszczuk Government is making its highly successful Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative permanent with ongoing funding of $80 million each year.

Minister for Training and Skills Development Di Farmer said applications for the next round of funding would open on Wednesday June 23.

“Skilling Queenslanders for Work is one of the Palaszczuk Government’s flagship programs, and for good reason: it really works.

“Since we reinstated it in 2015 it has helped more than 36,000 people into jobs. In fact, 73% of Skilling Queenslanders for Work participants go onto secure employment or further training, making it the most successful program of its kind.

“I’ve had the privilege of meeting so many people who have benefitted from this program. Just a few days ago I spoke with Cody, 23, who did a 6-month program and now has a four-year work contract.

“That’s why I am absolutely delighted Skilling Queenslanders for Work will now be permanent. It’s going to change thousands of lives.

“This $320 million commitment over four years will continue to help disadvantaged Queenslanders gain skills, qualifications and experience to enter – and stay – in the workforce.

“The Palaszczuk Government has placed investing in skills at the heart of Queensland’s Economic Plan for Recovery. This is in stark contrast to the LNP Newman Government which cut the Skilling Queenslanders for Work program as soon as they got the chance.”

Minister Farmer said the initiative will add two new programs, Community Foundation Skills and Skill Up.

“We are building on a strong model with a fantastic network of community-based providers that develop projects targeting local opportunities around the state and offer tailored support to each participant.

“As the Palaszczuk Government works to drive economic growth following the impact of COVID-19, supporting people to get back into the workforce will also help employers and industries fill needed roles across the state.

“Community Foundation Skills will support people to build their language, literacy and numeracy skills to get prepared for further study or to enter the workforce. Affordable foundation skills training is critical to breaking cycles of poverty, joblessness and intergenerational disadvantage.

“Skill Up will target workers needing to refresh or pivot their skills to secure a job, and those who have had extended times away from employment. It will also provide industry focused training to help people get started on new career paths.

“In addition to these new programs our current programs – Get Set for Work, Youth Skills, Ready for Work, Community Work Skills, First Start and Work Skills Traineeships – will continue to provide opportunities for people from a range of backgrounds.”

Minister Farmer said the funding round for 2021-22 will open on 23 June.

“We will be calling for project applications from our current providers and interested community-based not-for-organisations across Queensland that can deliver needed support and training to assist people towards joining the workforce,” Minister Farmer said.

“Organisations like Lighthouse Care, a social enterprise project in Logan. They helped 30 young job seekers completed Certificate II training in Skills for Work and Vocational Pathways while undertaking work experience at the warehouse, administration office, and grocery store.

“One participant, Nadya, had never had paid employment and was referred to the project through her Disability Support Agency. Nadya has now secured employment at a locally run shop called Tragic Beautiful.”

Melanie from Tragic Beautiful said that she was delighted to offer Nadya a job.

“Nadya is great I’m really excited to be able to offer another young person a job. Despite a pandemic, business insecurity and not knowing what tomorrow will bring, we can still make a difference in a young person’s life”.

Skilling Queenslanders for Work aims to offer targeted support for young people, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people with disability, mature-age jobseekers, women re-entering the workforce, people from culturally or linguistically diverse backgrounds, recently released prisoners and veterans or ex-service personnel.

Skilling Queenslanders for Work funds skills development, training, and job opportunities for unemployed, disengaged, or disadvantaged Queenslanders through a suite of targeted skills and training programs.

The Department of Employment, Small Business and Training will hold online and in-person information sessions that will cover each program and the application process.

For further information visit  or call 1300 369 935.

Media contact: Kate Talbot 0439 803 211