The Queensland government has extended its Gateway to Industry Schools program to encompass five new areas, including information and communication technology.
The program already includes aerospace, manufacturing and engineering, and minerals and energy, however the expansion of the program is a recognition that the jobs of the future require a broad range of skills.
“We want to make sure our young Queenslanders have the skills they need to get a job now and into the future,” said Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk.
The expansion will be funded by $1.62 million in state funding and is the greatest change to the program in the past 10 years.
“The new projects like screen and media, information and communication technology, health and community services have been included because we know these are areas that are rapidly growing in demand for skilled workers,” said Palaszczuk.
Over 200 schools are already involved in the program across the state.
“This program lays the foundations for our young Queenslanders to gain valuable skills and knowledge before they walk out of the classroom,” said Minister for Training and Skills Development, Shannon Fentiman.
The program dovetails with the state government’s free TAFE for year 12 graduates program and free apprenticeships for under 21-year-olds. In the past year, 7000 graduates have utilised these programs to gain training in a high priority trade, said Fentiman.
“Since the launch earlier this month there has already been a strong employer and student response to the free apprenticeships for under 21s initiative especially as the government made it available to apprentices and trainees that are under 21 and currently training in these high priority qualifications,” said Fentiman.
“The government will cover the cost of the training fees for all eligible young people until they complete their apprenticeship or traineeship, including those that complete after the age of 21 years.