Leaders will advocate for free and subsidised jobs training to be available for young people and the unemployed as a vital way to address Ballarat's post-COVID employment crisis.
The bid to utilise federal funding to fill skills gaps comes after Ballarat recorded in June a 'devastating' extra 6000 people looking for work since the pandemic began.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced on Thursday a $2 billion funding package to train people during the coronavirus recession.
The federal government will put $500 million into JobTrainer for school leavers and job seekers to complete courses in skills shortage areas.
The remaining $1.5 billion will expand and extend wage subsidies for apprentices.
Where there has been success with funding around training is where there has been real effort made to identify which regions require what skills.Tim Walshe, JK Personnel
Committee for Ballarat chief executive Michael Poulton said the funding was welcomed, but he hoped there was sufficient funding in the system to give employers the confidence to hire young people into training opportunities.
"Any additional federal funding is really welcome, particularly at this point in time with school leavers and their parents pretty anxious about what the future might hold," he said.
"I think this announcement will relieve some of the stress and anxiety young people are feeling about their future at the moment.
"The critical thing for us is we hope there is sufficient funds in there to give employers the confidence to offer training opportunities."
The JobTrainer funding will make a range of short courses delivered via TAFEs and private providers free for students.
Other courses that lead to qualifications including Certificate III and IV and diplomas will be subsidised.
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The new National Skills Commission will identify specific skills shortages to be addressed.
Ballarat recruitment company JK Personnel managing director Tim Walshe said it was important the government completed analysis on skills shortages specific to individual regions.
"If you take a national approach and assume a skills shortage is consistent throughout every region in Australia, that is a flawed approach," he said.
"Where there has been success with funding around training is where there has been real effort made to identify which regions require what skills.
"Where the funding is simply allocated and the funding isn't there with regard to control and targeting, that is when it can sometimes be taken advantage of (with private providers) and not yield the results we hope it will."
Mr Walshe said there was a need for hands on industrial skills in the current job market in Ballarat, including boilermakers, fabricators, fitters and welders.
"We have got about 50 vacancies currently and all of those are in industrial sectors and require a degree of skills with regard to hand and power tools, welding or painting," he said.
Mr Walshe said the need for skilled staff across the health sector in Ballarat would continue to grow.
Mr Poulton said he supported a federal government focus on advanced manufacturing and health care.
He said he also saw skills deficiencies in IT and deep solutions thinking, as well as the renewable energy sector in Ballarat.
"We would like to see more focus on both research and development and the skills training that sits around the renewable energy market and what will be a renewable energy future. IT is a critical part of that," Mr Poulton said.
"We think that is the way of the future and we don't see that in this announcement so far."
IN OTHER NEWS:
The funding announcement comes as the Australian Bureau of Statistics data released on Thursday showed unemployment passed a two decade high reaching 7.4 per cent in June.
The figures show more people got back to work with the easing of restrictions in June, but more people also got back to looking for work.
Ballarat specific unemployment figures are expected to be released next week.
June figures suggested almost 6000 jobs had been lost in Ballarat since the COVID-19 crisis began.
The unemployment rate in Ballarat was recorded at higher than the state average and significantly beyond that of Geelong and Bendigo.
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