Federal Member for Wide Bay Llew O’Brien is encouraging people to consider the benefits of vocational education and training (VET) to launch or future-proof their careers, ahead of National Careers Week 2020.

“Vocational education is a fantastic way to help yourself through uncertain times like these so that you’re in a stronger position to boost your career as the economy recovers,” Mr O’Brien said.

“Apprentices and trainees are crucial to the current and future workforce in Wide Bay, so this National Careers Week I encourage people to consider the wide variety of careers open to them.”

Mr O’Brien said the recently-updated MySkills website enabled prospective students to search over 2,000 online courses of offer from registered training organisations.

“This provides an excellent opportunity for people of all ages in Wide Bay to study a whole range of course offerings from training institutions from around Australia, including potentially courses and subjects that may not have been available locally before,” he said.

“A VET qualification opens the door to so many job opportunities, and nationally recognised qualifications can be gained in just a few months, which will help people engage their skills and interests and find new career paths as work picks up again following the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash, said National Careers Week 2020 highlighted the need for ongoing reskilling and upskilling to support careers throughout life and identifying the changing nature of work and its impact on all Australians.

“The COVID-19 health and economic crisis is creating urgent demand for new skills across a broad range of sectors, as well as accelerating demand for entry-level workers in key industries that are struggling to keep up with increased demand,” she said.

“We are seeing firsthand how skilled Australians are keeping our economy open and expediting our recovery from the pandemic. Healthcare workers and aged care and disability care workers are already so important. Now, many more occupations are just as vital.”

Minister for Vocational Education, Training and Apprenticeships, the Hon Steve Irons MP, said a VET qualification was the pathway into many rewarding careers.

“As part of our economic response to COVID-19 we are supporting apprentices, trainees and small businesses, offering eligible employers a wage subsidy of 50 per cent of the apprentices or trainee’s wage for up to 9 months from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020 — so they can support their apprentices and trainees and keep the benefits of training already undertaken within their business.”

National Careers Week runs from 18–24 May and the many online events, from local, targeted education and employment opportunities, to national webinars can be found at careersweek.com.au/events-page/

Websites to help plan career and study options include: www.joboutlook.gov.au, www.myskills.gov.au and www.dese.gov.au/covid-19/jobs-hub


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