Hinchcliffe welcomes QLD mining focus in federal budget

Queensland’s Employment Skills and Mining Minister has praised the federal government for its efforts to boost skilled worker number in Queensland in last night’s budget.

Hinchliffe today told Parliament that Queensland had led the way on skills development though establishing Skills Queensland last year, which partnered the industry with secure employers on developing workplace training.

He said the package announced by Treasurer Wayne Swan complemented investments made by the Bligh government.

“This means more job opportunities for more Queenslanders and it is essential Queenslanders are givern the best chance to take full advantage of what’s on offer,” he said.

“There’s no doubt we need every Queenslander who is capable of working to either put their hand up for a job or undergo training to prepare for the workforce.

“That’s why we welcome the industry-led approach announced last night.”

He said the $101 million being invested to assist apprentices to complete their training and $100 million for them to gain qualifications faster is a great step in the right direction.

The National Workforce Development fund will receive a $558 million injection for its start-up and $143 will be provided to support language and literacy training.

He also welcomed the 130 000 industry based places outlined in the budget.

“This national investment complements the strong skills development program we already have in Queensland,” Hinchcliffe said.

The Bligh government is investing $50 million to Skills Queensland for better training and support, as well as $5 million that has been matched by the industry for a Coal Seam Gas (CSG) and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) program.

“Queensland is experiencing a mining boom and with that comes job opportunities for Queenslanders,” Hinchliffe said.

“This government is partnering with industry and working with the federal government to make sure it is Queenslanders who benefit.”

While Hinchcliffe is happy with the budget’s treatment of the Queensland resource industry, other mining regions say they have been left out.

Those in New South Wales Hunter Valley have accused the government of showing bias towards the regions represented by key independents Rob Oakshott and Tony Windsor.
 

Image: Brisbane Times
 

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