By Aline Rodrigues
The State Government has announced a series of programs to benefit small businesses as a central part of the Queensland Economic Recovery Plan.
Small Business and Employment Minister Di Farmer said that small businesses employ nearly a million people. Things like housing availability and transportation options do not limit their growth opportunities.
“Business owners have told us that the lack of housing in the regional areas is one of the challenges when it comes to attracting workers. That’s why we are investing $1.8 billion over four years to increase the supply of social housing and improve existing social housing across the state, with support from establishing a long-term Housing Investment Fund in $1. billion.”
Minister Farmer appears to be confident with this investment as it creates jobs for construction workers, merchants and other contractors.
In addition, the government launched a new strategy last weekend, outlining how $140 million of small business support will be spent, as well as announcing a Workforce Summit later this year.
“The strategy includes a $100 million Business Investment Fund, $30 million to increase the skills and capabilities of small businesses and $10 million to make it easier to do business with the government, including making the role of Queensland Small Business Commissioner permanent,” said Minister Farmer.
Training and skilling
Another vital part of Queensland’s Economic Recovery Plan, still according to Minister Farmer, is the training and skills funding announced in the 2021-22 State Budget. This investment in skills and training may help more Queenslanders get the skills they need for jobs in emerging, growth, and traditional industries.
Besides that, the Palaszczuk Government is making Skilling Queenslanders for Work permanent – a program that supports disadvantaged and vulnerable Queenslanders – with a commitment of $320 million over four years and ongoing funding of $80 million each year after.
“We are also helping more young people under 25 into free TAFE and free apprenticeships by continuing delivery of our $21 million commitment.”
“Our $200 million commitment to invest in the future skills of Queenslanders will continue to be delivered, with the first phase of the $8 million Social Enterprise Jobs fund, which provides grants to support Community Social Enterprise Development, set to close on 1 July”.
This also includes delivering essential programs such as $32.4 million for the TAFE Priority Skills Fund, $25 million for the Pre-Apprenticeship Support Program, and $5 million for the First Nations Training Strategy.