The 2018/2019 Victorian Budget is focussed on growing skills and jobs opportunities in cities and in regional Victoria.
The Victorian budget comes off the back of the state’s strong job performance. More than 117 000 new jobs were created in 2016/17, the highest of any state and equivalent to more than 70 per cent of new jobs created across Australia. Employment in regional Victoria rose by a year average of 3.1 per cent in 2017, the second highest rate in the nation. The budget however forecasts a cooler climate for 2018/2019, with an expected decline in the Employment growth rate from 2.75 per cent to 2 per cent while the unemployment rate will remain the same at 5.75 per cent.
A number of significant initiatives in the Victorian budget will continue to support Victoria’s jobs growth In the near term through infrastructure investment and lowering payroll tax for regional businesses, and in the longer term by investing in skills and capacity building.
A key initiative supporting Victoria’s jobs growth and to support young people to find ‘good jobs sooner’ is the announcement that 30 ‘priority’ TAFE Courses & 18 pre-apprenticeship courses will become free from 1 January 2019. The courses focus on skills development in priority areas for the State including building infrastructure projects, responding to family violence, and caring for older Victorians or people living with disability.
The Budget also includes:
- $49.8 million for Head Start Apprenticeships and Traineeships to give secondary school students the opportunity to learn their trade at school and get a job sooner
- $25.9 million to improve the quality of secondary vocational pathways
- $109 million in careers education to help students get the right career advice so they can make the right choices early on
Other important jobs initiatives include:
- Investing in the hydrogen energy supply chain pilot project, with funding of $103 million, including a $50 million dollar Commonwealth contribution
- $21.9 million for the Jobs Victoria program, which will assist approximately 20,000 Victorians to find work
- $10 million to boost the Premier’s Jobs and Investment Fund to develop practical ideas that strengthen Victoria’s economy and grow Victorian jobs
- $5 million in government procurement activities to help local businesses secure work supplying government projects
- An additional $16 million to establish a GovHub in Bendigo (1000 staff, 100 new jobs). The local council, Regional Development Victoria, Parks Victoria, DELWP and DEDJTR will share the Bendigo GovHub
- $2.9 million towards growing defence manufacturing jobs in 2018 – 2019