Industry group the Australasian Health Manufacturers and Development Association (AHMADA) has welcomed the Federal Government’s Discussion Paper on a new $476 million Industry Skills Fund.
The paper, which was released last week by Minister for Industry Ian Macfarlane, provides details on various aspects of the fund, including priority areas, eligibility, relevant activities, merit criteria and funding arrangements.
According Mr Macfarlane, the fund will address workforce capability issues that affect the ability of Australian small and medium businesses to respond quickly to new and changing opportunities.
“AHMADA welcomes the establishment of the Fund as it clearly aligns with one of our key priorities for Members – that local research and development (R&D) must be capitalised into innovative new products,” to AHMADA President, Dr Mal Eutick said in a statement.
“Our Members, developing and manufacturing local research across the health, pharmaceutical and medical technology sectors, are competing with the much-larger multi-nationals and are focused on local research and investment in skill development and employment for local scientists.
“The Government’s commitment to assisting industry and innovation through the establishment of the Fund will further support our Members with the opportunity to compete locally and in the highly competitive global marketplace.”
Submissions in response to the discussion paper and consultation questions will close on 7 September 2014. Consultation will continue as the fund is fully rolled out.