Victorians at work

Getting Victorians back to work.

Plumber in warehouse

This pandemic has laid bare the inequalities in our economy. Those who have suffered the most have been women, young people, those aged over 60, and Victorians who have plenty of experience but don’t always have a formal qualification.

As we begin to rebuild our economy, getting these Victorians back to work will be central to our recovery.

With the Jobs Plan, we’ll ensure no Victorian worker is left behind.

Creating Jobs for Victoria

A new jobs policy will support Victorians to find employment – and with it, security, stability and certainty.

The Victorian Government’s new $619 million Jobs for Victoria initiative will help provide targeted and tailored support for Victorians most affected during this pandemic.

These positions will be made available to Victorians hardest hit financially during this pandemic, including women, young people, retrenched workers and people who have been long-term unemployed.

At least $150 million of subsidy support will go towards getting women back in work, of which $50 million is for older women, recognising the very real barriers they face.

These subsidised positions will be focused on creating new ongoing permanent jobs, making sure we’re providing long-term security for these workers and their families.

Under the program, thousands more Victorians will be able to access the help they need – whether that’s advice about training pathways, career counselling or more intensive support.

This investment includes at least 10,000 work placements, giving Victorians the experience they need to get their foot in the door.

Secure Work Pilot Scheme

The pandemic has highlighted that too many workers are having to choose between going to work sick and losing wages.

To support casual workers, this Budget provides funding to develop a new Secure Work Pilot Scheme. Once in place, this two-year pilot will provide up to five days of sick and carers pay at the national minimum wage for casual or insecure workers in priority industries.

Putting TAFE and training at the heart of our recovery

The Government is investing $1 billion in the TAFE and training system, giving thousands of Victorians the opportunity to reskill and upskill.

It includes up to 80,000 new subsidised training and Free TAFE places, in addition to the 18,000 places announced earlier this year.

A dedicated $155 million will help Victorians particularly affected by economic disruption, including women and young people to access training.

Targeted opportunities will be made available through TAFE and other training providers across Victoria in 2021, making it easier for Victorians with pre-existing qualifications to retrain for sectors in need of more skilled workers.

Funding will support training in priority areas, including healthcare, community services and construction.

Funding will also attract and support people to reskill as teachers at our TAFEs, giving these Victorians the opportunity to share their skills – with new teacher scholarships and mentoring.

The Government is also investing $38 million to commence major reform of vocational senior secondary schooling in Victoria, supporting universal access to quality vocational and applied learning for every student in the state and providing coordinators in government secondary schools to support vocational and applied learning pathways.

Tax credits to grow jobs

A New Jobs Tax Credit will be provided to encourage small and medium sized businesses to re-employ staff, restore staff hours and hire new staff.

For the next two years, eligible businesses will receive a tax credit of 10 cents for every dollar of Victorian taxable wages above the previous year’s.

This means that not only will eligible businesses pay no payroll tax on these increased wages – they will get a refund of tax already paid. The more they increase wages and employment in Victoria, the less payroll tax they will pay.

This $836 million tax relief measure is expected to help support 9,400 jobs and stimulate the economy by providing tax relief to 14,000 businesses in 2020-21, and 21,000 businesses in 2021-22.

The skills we need

The Government will help unemployed Victorians reskill and find a job fast – offering new support with accredited and innovative new ‘skill sets’.

Like a mini qualification, skill sets will help up to 52,000 Victorians learn specific skills with targeted training. This is in addition to the 11,000 new construction skill sets announced earlier this year.

This $75 million investment will help Victorians rapidly retrain and find new opportunities, with skill sets made available through our TAFEs and training organisations.

The Workforce Skill Set Pilot Program will also support employers, in partnership with a training provider, to offer their own skill sets – providing Victorians with an opportunity to learn hands-on skills from those in the industry.

Grants will be provided where immediate or emerging industry and jobs needs are strongly demonstrated.

New Skills and Jobs Centres will be established at the North East Link and the new Footscray Hospital, providing onsite advice for Victorians who want to be a part of these projects.

The Centres will connect Victorians with available opportunities, while also providing advice on training and apprenticeships.

A Clean Economy Workforce Development Strategy and Taskforce will also be established to develop a long-term plan to create and support jobs in this fast-growing industry.

Supporting new apprenticeships

A package of measures worth $58 million will support Victorian workers to earn while they learn.

Funding of $33 million will expand opportunities for apprentices and trainees through a flagship Big Build training pathway.

This transformative new approach will support the employment and training of up to 1,500 apprentices and trainees each year across our Big Build.

Creating a single point of entry for apprentices and trainees looking for work, it will mean we’re able to connect these Victorians to new opportunities – and fast.

With a centralised approach, we can also make sure Victoria’s Big Build creates more opportunities for a broader group of Victorians, with a particular focus on women and other Victorians who may otherwise miss out.

This additional coordination will also support apprentices and trainees to complete their training even if their work on a particular aspect of a project may have finished, by supporting them to move onto other projects in the Big Build.

Funding is also provided to expand the pilot of higher apprenticeships and traineeships in the social services sector. This will create opportunities for 400 existing workers to continue their employment, while also validating their on the job work experience by gaining a qualification.

This Budget will also strengthen support for apprentices and employers more broadly, with a focus on ensuring apprentices can complete their training.

Turning digital demand into new opportunity

The pandemic has required a rapid shift to online business and workplace activity. In turn, this has created demand for digital skills across our economy.

To further strengthen those skills – but also help Victorians who have lost their jobs during the pandemic – this Budget includes $64 million for the new Digital Skills and Jobs program.

This program will provide high quality, industry-led short courses and internships to reskill 5,000 unemployed workers to transition into digital careers where demand is strong and vacancies exist. These short courses and internships will support unemployed workers to transition into new careers.

The initiative will benefit industry by expanding the pool of local digital talent. The availability of digital internships will incentivise Victorian employers, making it easier for them to skill and hire unemployed and mid-career workers for digital roles.

This ground-breaking investment will assist these Victorians into a potential new career, helping them to retrain and reskill, with a strong focus on supporting women.

The program will give participants the opportunity to undertake digital skills training or take part in an internship with an employer on a digital project.

Not only will this set our State up with the skills we need for the future, it’ll help almost 5,000 Victorians find new opportunities.

Supporting women back into work

Overwhelmingly, women have been affected most during this pandemic.

Through Victoria’s Jobs Plan, the Victorian Government will support more women back into the workforce – ensuring they have the stability and security they deserve.

This Budget delivers new support for parents and families, while creating new opportunities for women to pursue new careers across a range of sectors.

Helping families balance the daily juggle of work and care, the Government is delivering $170 million to make kinder free next year – saving families around $2,000 and supporting more women back into work.

To further help parents participate in the workforce, the Government is investing $82 million to increase the availability of before and after school care.

Reaching up to 400 schools across the state, this investment will make sure more families can rely on outside hours school care-giving parents greater flexibility when it comes to work, study, training or re-entering the workforce.

The Government has also invested in a range of new roles and professional pathways in key industries, set to create new opportunities for women. This includes:

  • $150 million to support businesses to hire 6,000 women through wage subsidies, delivered through the Jobs for Victoria initiative. About one-third of the subsidies will go to older women, recognising the additional barriers they face.
  • $33 million to expand opportunities for apprentices and trainees through a flagship Big Build training pathway, including a focus on supporting women and disadvantaged Victorians into the construction sector.
  • $5 million for a dedicated stream of the Apprenticeship Innovation Fund to support more women into trades through the provision of grants to eligible industry and training organisations to support and encourage women to pursue non-traditional roles, including in the construction industry.
  • $5 million to deliver the short, medium and long-term actions outlined in the Women in Construction Strategy and to help implement the Building Equality Policy by creating training and employment opportunities for women on government construction projects valued at $20 million or more.
  • A subsidy will be provided to employ and train 40 new building surveyors across local government authorities, with an emphasis on attracting women to this career and improving gender balance in the profession.
  • The $2.4 million Women in Transport program to provide training, scholarship and employment opportunities for women in the transport sector. The program will provide:
    • Training and employment opportunities for 300 women to become heavy vehicle drivers.
    • Australian qualifications and employment opportunities for 40 female refugee and asylum seeker engineers through the Engineering Pathways Industry Cadetship program.
    • Scholarships for 20 women undertaking diesel mechanic apprenticeships.
    • 15 vocational placements for PhD students and 20 undergraduate and postgraduate scholarships for women studying in transport-related fields.
  • $235 million to build our Recovery Workforce to create new jobs across mental health, family violence, health and child protection:
    • Funding to support 240 new traineeships to increase support for victims of family violence and sexual assault.
    • 10 nurse educators to support and supervise experienced general nurses to retrain as mental health nurses.
    • Recognising the overwhelming number of women in personal caring roles, the Government will invest $4.6 million to support pathways into employment in the community services, disability and aged care sectors. The funding will help carers deploy their incredible skill, ability and knowledge into paid position.
    • An expansion of the existing mental health nurse graduate program.
  • The recruitment of more than 4,100 tutors across government and non-government schools for post-pandemic support, with around 80% expected to be filled by women.
  • The recruitment of up to 1,730 teachers, allied health workers and other staff to support students with disability in Victorian government schools by 2025.
  • The $64 million Digital Skills and Jobs program will fund short courses and up to 5,000 industry internships to retrain Victorians who have lost their jobs during the pandemic, including women.
  • Support for 400 social services workers to gain credentials and upskill through higher apprenticeship pilots while they work.
  • $18 million to support new and established small business owners through a series of workshops, mentoring services and coaching. A further $26 million will support business owners to establish themselves online.
  • $10 million to help female startup founders access capital through the establishment of a women’s founders Angel Sidecar Fund.
  • Using the Government’s purchasing contracts to create employment and training opportunities for women.

Case study: Working for Victoria

The Working for Victoria Fund was established in April 2020 as a key pillar of the Victorian Government’s economic response to the pandemic, as part of the $1.7 billion Economic Survival Package.

The Government has worked closely with business and unions to establish the Fund, supporting more than 11,000 Victorians back into work.

Working for Victoria is open to workers who have recently lost their job or casual employees who no longer have shifts, matching jobseekers with employers.

The program also includes training to help jobseekers expand or update their skills, enabling them to work in areas now hiring. That includes access to free online courses delivered through Free TAFE.

In contrast to other assistance, international students and temporary migrants are eligible to apply for Working for Victoria.

And – in just seven months – we’ve achieved some incredible outcomes.

Working for Victoria joined with the Victorian Council of Social Services (VCOSS) to deliver funding for 59 organisations including Anglicare, the Brotherhood of St Laurence, Jesuit Social Services, Uniting, Foodbank and a range of migrant services, boosting their frontline efforts and supporting 1,100 new jobs.

The Government has struck agreements with an additional 10 local government authorities to support some 1,200 Victorians to immediately return to work with roles including maintaining local parks, gardens and sporting fields and performing a range of community services to support vulnerable residents.

Reviewed 25 November 2020

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