Building Australia's future workforce

The Government's Building Australia's Future Workforce package provides immediate skills assistance to industry and apprentices, sets the path for meeting medium‑term skills needs and provides assistance and encouragement to participate in the workforce for groups with lower participation levels.

Partnering with industry to deliver skills in demand

The strong medium‑term outlook for the economy will create further demand for skilled labour and put pressure on the economy's capacity.

At the same time, some regions and industries face challenges and some groups in the community are experiencing low rates of participation and higher unemployment.

The Government's new Building Australia's Future Workforce package will help industries get the skilled workers they need and encourage participation in work and the benefits that brings.

Investing in skills

The package includes:

  • $558 million to deliver around 130,000 quality training places tailored to the needs of different industries and regions through a National Workforce Development Fund;
  • continuing investments to improve the apprenticeship system with $200 million to assist apprentices to progress and complete their training in more timely way;
  • $1.75 billion to partner with the States and Territories on ambitious reform of the vocational education and training system; and
  • $263 million to deliver core skills to open new opportunities.

Improving incentives to work

The package includes:

  • rewarding work through better income tests and employer incentives;
  • providing new opportunities to get more people into work through training, education, childcare and employment services;
  • new requirements for teenage parents, the long‑term unemployed and Disability Support Pension recipients; and
  • new approaches to address entrenched disadvantage in targeted locations.


Chart: Increased skills levels are associated with lower unemployment and increased wages (March-June 2009)

Increased skills levels are associated with lower unemployment and increased wages (March‑June 2009)