Federal Budget 2020-21 unveiled

On October 6th the Federal Budget for the 2020-2021 period was released and detailed a number of support measures for both RITC industries and the education, skills and training sectors. The relevant announcement for the various sectors are detailed below:

Vocational Education and Training:

  • Supporting Apprentices and Trainees – $1.2 billion over four years from 2020-21 to increase the number of apprentices and trainees employed. This investment will provide 50 per cent wage subsidies to medium-sized businesses, including those using Group Training Organisations, with fewer than 200 employees to retain or re-engage apprentices and trainees between 1 July 2020 and 31 March 2021.

  • JobTrainer fund – a $1 billion fund, jointly established with states and territories and the Australian Government to contribute $500 million to provide up to 340,700 Australians with access to free, or low fee, training places in areas of skills need.

  • Investment in VET Reform – $263 million over four years from 2020-21 to continue to improve the quality of the Vocational Education and Training (VET) system, including a new Apprenticeships Data Management System, the National Careers Institute and the development of a National Skills Priority List for Apprenticeships.

University sector:

  • Job-ready Graduates Package – $20 billion to fund higher education reforms (an additional $2 billion), creating 100,000 new university places by 2030. This package includes funding for the provision of more places and support for people wanting to access higher education and to establish a National Priorities and Industry Linkage Fund to increase partnerships between universities and industry to ensure more students gain industry experiences and job ready skills.

  • CQUniversity Australia – NAIF loan of up to $76 million to upgrade digital infrastructure over the next two years (to benefit remote-learning capabilities in facilities such as the one in Perth) and $30 million towards constructing a School of Mining and Manufacturing by 2023.

  • Supporting International Students – $2.0 million over four years (and $5.2 million over ten years to 2030-31) to support approximately 180 international and domestic university students each year to participate in short-term student exchanges with universities in Australia and 16 selected Asian countries. This program will resume once international borders re-open.

  • Research funding – $1 billion for new research funding for universities, including a scoping study of potential options to accelerate the translation and commercialisation of research, including through new partnerships between universities and industry and opportunities for investments.

Year 12 completion:

  • Indigenous Education Achievement – $39.8 million over four years from 2020-21 for the Clontarf Foundation to expand and extend its existing program.

  • Support for disadvantaged youth – $38.2 million support an additional 76,000 disadvantaged young Australians to complete Year 12 and move into work, training or further study through Smith Family’s Learning for Life program.

Jobs and employment:

  • JobMaker hiring credit – $4.0 billion over three years from 2020-21 to accelerate employment growth by supporting organisations to take on additional employees through a hiring credit. The JobMaker Hiring Credit will be available to eligible employers over 12 months from 7 October 2020 for each additional new job they create for an eligible employee.

  • Local Jobs Program – $62.8 million over two years from 2020-21 to establish a program to coordinate employment and training solutions at a local level in 25 regions across Australia.

  • Women’s Economic Security Statement – $240 million in measures and programs to support new cadetships and apprenticeships for women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, job creation and entrepreneurialism, and women’s safety at work and at home.

  • Return to work assistance – $24.7 million to streamline the ParentsNext program to better support parents to plan and prepare for a return to employment in the COVID-19 recovery.

  • Talent Attraction – $29.8 million over two years from 2020-21 to establish a new whole-of-government Global Business and Talent Attraction Taskforce to attract international businesses and exceptional talent to Australia, to support the post- COVID recovery and boost local jobs.

STEM skills commitment:

  • Enhancing STEM Skills – $27.3 million over five years from 2020-21 to enhance the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills of young Australians.

Manufacturing industries:

  • Modernising Manufacturing Initiative – $1.3 billion to co-fund large manufacturing projects to scale up in priority areas such as resources technology, critical minerals processing, recycling and clean energy.

  • Manufacturing Modernisation Fund – $52.8 million expansion of the fund to co-fund capital investments and associated reskilling of medium-sized businesses with up to 199 employees to be technologically efficient and transformative in their manufacturing processes.

  • Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre and Industry Growth Centres – $50 million in additional funding to support the METS sector.

Supply chain industries:

  • Supply Chain Resilience Initiative – $107.2 million to address identified domestic vulnerabilities such as PPE and chemicals.

Drilling industry:

  • Exploration – Continued commitment to fund $100.5 million for exploration and geoscientific knowledge through Geoscience Australia’s ‘Unlocking Australia’s Resources Potential: Exploring for the Future programme’.

These measures are just a few of those announced, and further measures include a substantial infrastructure investment.

The RITC would like to thank and acknowledge the Chamber of Minerals and Energy, specifically Workforce Capability manager Susan Cull, for the provision of bulleted data listed above.

For a more detailed view of the budget announcements relating to the Mining, Oil & Gas sectors visit the Chamber of Minerals and Energy and view their comprehensive summary and analysis.