Construction Skills Queensland (CSQ) has announced a $42 million workforce training package to prepare for the state’s COVID-19 recovery.
CSQ’s training package for workers and businesses in the construction industry has increased by 14 per cent from last year.
It will extend existing training programs while adding some specific responses to challenges resulting from COVID-19, the organisation says.
CSQ chief executive officer Brett Schimming said the Queensland construction industry would be challenged by this once-in-a-lifetime global event, but emphasised it was still open for business.
“There is expected to be at least $37 billion worth of construction activity underway across Queensland over the next 12 months,” he said.
“Construction will remain a significant employer in Queensland and vitally important to keeping the wheels of our economy moving.”
Mr Schimming said training during a downturn was a positive strategy for businesses and individuals, using available time for workers to expand their skills base, making businesses and individuals more employable on a wider range of jobs:
“For workers, it’s about expanding their skill base to make them more employable on more work- sites,” he said.
“For businesses of all sizes, training their people allows them to be more competitive and to bid for more projects. Some of them may find that they have more time available to upskill their staff and add value to their workforce.
“It is a challenging time for everyone in the construction industry, but we stand ready to support those individuals and businesses who are looking to improve their future prospects.”
The 2020-21 CSQ Annual Training Plan features increased investment in three special program areas – apprentices; small business and mental health.
“CSQ recognises the industry needs real support for training right now and has made some changes to make it easier to get that help,” Mr Schimming said.
“We have cut eligibility red tape, added funding for a range of new courses that the industry told us it needs, and have increased our subsidy for over 66 courses.”