Priority 3

Assisting employers to build, attract and retain the right workforce

Everyone benefits from a highly-skilled workforce. Businesses benefit from access to a diverse pool of quality candidates who can help them grow and innovate. Workers benefit from better quality, more rewarding jobs with higher rates of pay. And our community benefits from a highly productive economy which attracts new businesses and workers.

That’s why training and attracting workers with the right skills calls for co-investment by government and business.

The ACT Government plays a central role in supporting the training, reskilling and upskilling of workers. Our demand-driven approach to Australian Apprenticeships ensures industries with skills needs can access significant government financial support.

The ACT Building and Construction Training Fund Authority also provides financial incentives when a business employs an Australian Apprentice from a target cohort or in highdemand trades.

We also help attract skilled workers to Canberra through our suite of economic development initiatives and campaigns. The Canberra Switched On statement highlighted the unique qualities and progressive values that make our city a great place to live and work, including our focus on inclusion.

The reopening of Australia’s borders provides us the opportunity to attract critical talent from overseas to live, work and invest in Canberra. The ACT Government is committed to growing our skilled migration program – including through direct government nomination – where labour market testing shows there are specialist skills needs and job vacancies which cannot be filled through local recruitment.

We encourage employers to partner with us to grow the ACT’s skilled workforce. Supporting workers to undertake tailored and relevant on-the-job training can boost engagement while strengthening the skills and capabilities that make them more productive.

Investing in people to achieve their potential helps business to thrive. As we continue to shift our focus towards knowledge-based economic growth, the ACT Government welcomes industry input on ways our training system can better encourage and enable coinvestment in workforce development.

Our direct investments in CIT provide particular opportunities to create new and tailored training programs to meet industry needs as these change.

Skilling workers to build Canberra's future

Construction businesses taking on an apprentice in Canberra can access significant incentives and support. In the first year of an apprenticeship, an employer can access up to $8,000 through ACT Building and Construction Training Fund Authority incentive payments.

The Australian Government may also contribute a $1,500 commencement incentive payment.

The ACT Government also provides ongoing support over the course of an apprenticeship, including:

  • a training subsidy
  • a $500 loading if the apprentice identifies as an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander
  • a $500 loading if the apprentice identifies as a person with a disability
  • up to $3,000 to provide additional learning support.

Focus initiative

Industry partnerships for responsive skills development

Developing new training to upskill the renewable energy sector workforce is a key priority for CIT.

CIT has worked closely with Tesla to co-develop innovative and cutting-edge electric vehicle training to meet skills needs now and in the future.

In 2021, CIT piloted delivery of two electric vehicle training units with five Tesla apprentices. In 2022, CIT is delivering nine electric vehicle training units to Tesla apprentices from around Australia.

Based on the collaboration with Tesla, CIT launched a Battery-Electric Vehicle Inspection and Servicing micro-credential in December 2021. The micro-credential covers high-voltage systems, and electric vehicle operations and servicing. It is designed to upskill existing automotive technicians, including Transport Canberra diesel mechanics.

CIT is currently planning to commence delivery of a Certificate III in Electric Vehicle Technology apprenticeship in 2023.

How we are delivering

  • We are working with the University of Canberra to better understand the nature of skills and workforce shortages in the ACT, and barriers to addressing these in specific sectors. This includes exploring pre-and post-COVID employment dynamics, perceptions of employers and employer groups, migration flows and the diverse range of factors impacting people's decisions about studying and working in Canberra.
  • We will enhance our approach to industry consultation and collaboration to develop the ACT Skills Needs List, which guides investment in vocational education and training, and the Critical Occupation List, which informs our skilled migration program. This will ensure the government's investments are more targeted and aligned with areas of genuine skills need.
  • We will explore options for establishing an engagement hub, where skills brokers can provide prospective learners with advice on education and training pathways, and assist employers to connect with the right people and organisations in our skills sector. The engagement hub will complement the recently established Canberra Cyber Hub.
  • We have developed a Workforce Attraction Digital Toolkit to help ACT employers promote our Canberra lifestyle, and the benefits of living and working here, including our focus on wellbeing and inclusion. The Toolkit will provide employers with resources to sell our city to job candidates, including checklists for job ads and key facts about Canberra. This is designed to assist businesses to attract workers.
  • We will seek an increase to the ACT’s current allocation of skilled migration places and explore options for expanding our current program through a Designated Area Migration Agreement. These settings will provide additional flexibility for ACT employers to respond to our unique economic and labour market conditions, when skills needs cannot be met locally.

Leading by example

Across all our directorates, the ACT Government supports Australian Apprenticeships to build our own workforce capability. In October 2021, there were over 500 apprentices and trainees employed as ACT public servants.

  • 161 Transport Canberra and City Services employees were undertaking a range of qualifications, including driving operations, leadership and management, parks and gardens and arboriculture.
  • 74 ACT Emergency Services employees were studying public safety and automotive-related qualifications.
  • 28 ACT Health Directorate employees were undertaking a range of qualifications, including leadership, training and assessment, telecommunications and health services.
  • 25 ACT Education Directorate employees were enrolled in education support, with another 5 in early childhood qualifications.

The ACT Public Service Graduate Program attracts and recruits graduates into our public service from a broad range of disciplines. Their expertise is developed and honed to give them the foundation to become future leaders in the Service.

A new graduate learning and development program will be delivered in 2022, which focuses on core public service skills. A range of networking opportunities have also been built into the program to ensure graduates feel a sense of belonging and are supported to build broader professional networks.

Local success storyKhye Bolin

Khye Bolin completed a Certificate III in Electronics and Communications with CIT.

Before starting his apprenticeship, Khye was busy managing both university studies and full-time work. He applied for an apprenticeship with Honeywell as it combined his passion for IT with his desire for continuous education and hands-on experience.

Khye's training journey highlights the broad range of future-focused careers that an apprenticeship can lead to, building in-demand skills for Canberra's knowledge economy.

“Working for an industry leader has not only allowed me to further my skills and knowledge in the field, but also gain invaluable skills in professional communication, relationship building and project management.”