State fights local government skill shortages with apprentice incentive

By Jackson Graham

Sunday December 12, 2021

Di Farmer
Di Farmer (AAP Image/Dan Peled)

Queensland councils are set to employ hundreds of new apprentices, thanks to a financial boost from the state government. 

The state government’s First Start Program will allow councils to employ 400 apprentices and trainees under the $6 million scheme to help fight skill shortages. 

Councils are responsible for recruiting their allocated places and can choose which qualifications they want to develop in their workforces.

The program is managed by the Local Government Association of Queensland, where chief executive Alison Smith said the program was already showing results, allowing young people to continue to live and work in their communities. 

“It gives an economic boost to the councils as well, letting them draw from a skilled local workforce, rather than contracting out,” Smith said. 

“Most of these trainees and apprentices go on to secure permanent employment at the end of their traineeship or even before they finish, with the remaining few often pursuing higher education or further training.”

Queensland training and skills development minister Di Farmer said 66 local governments would share in the money to offer 12-month traineeships for young Queenslanders and disadvantaged jobseekers.

“Local councils are so important and they often perform the work that is invisible,” Farmer said. 

“We know that to do that you have to have a good, skilled workforce behind you and that just doesn’t happen by accident.”


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