Free TAFE courses for small businesses

Apr 11, 2018

A record win for our small businesses was made this week, with our Deputy Premier and Minister for Skills and Small Business, John Barilaro along with our Assistant Minister for Skills, Adam Marshall announcing owners and staff now have access to free business skills training.

The $30 million initiative is part of the Skills for Business program and will allow local businesses and their employees to undertake qualifications from TAFE NSW in subjects including digital and financial literacy, business management and cyber security.

“Our economy is now the strongest in the nation, and as a government we want to be doing everything we can to support small business owners – the very people who take on great risks, to create job opportunities for others,” John said.

“This isn’t just about investing in the future of our small businesses, it’s about investing in people – the skills, careers and wellbeing of the men and women who run businesses, and work in them.

“We need a workforce that will continue to underpin NSW as the nation’s leading economy, and the strongest workforce is one that’s continually learning, upskilling, and keeping up to date with new technologies.

“Small businesses represent almost 98 per cent of all NSW businesses. They employ about 1.56 million people – almost half the state’s workforce – and generate $47 billion in annual wages and salaries.

“As a former small business owner and I know first-hand how hard it can be to keep a business afloat, and that is why we are funding the Skills for Business program, to give small businesses the very best chance of success,” he said.

The announcement has been a welcomed by leaders across the small business and skills industries.

“It is a fabulous announcement made by the NSW Government to really assist small businesses in making the transition to the digital economy. This is the boots that NSW Business needs,” said MYOB CEO and Executive Director, Tim Reed.

Also on board was Caravan & Camping Industry NSW – CEO, Lyndel Gray.

“Programs like this that make training more accessible to more people, are a big tick.”

Applauding the initiative was small business owner Matt Diamond from Custom Creations Landscapes.

“Access to these kind of courses, it’s free and you’d be crazy not to do it. Any additional training and information that you can get is only going to make things better for your business.”

NSW TAFE Digital General Manager Megan Aitken confirmed that the courses will be flexible online courses to help people complete them outside of business hours and on weekends.

“It’s stackable skillsets, they can dip in and dip out any time.”

“There’s also human support with webinars so teachers can actually call on student cohorts for certain topics and they can get support.”

As the Minister responsible for TAFE NSW Adam Marshall said TAFE would work closely with the State Government to deliver targeted training to meet the needs of small businesses.

Skills for Business will leverage TAFE NSW’s strong industry connections and world-class teaching to offer NSW SMEs fully subsidised training in digital and financial literacy, cybersecurity and general business management,” Adam said.

“Businesses and employees throughout NSW will benefit from TAFE NSW’s strong digital footprint to access training anywhere, anytime and at a pace that suits them.”

“TAFE will work closely with the NSW Government’s Business Connect advisory service and the State’s 11 university partners in the $18 million Boosting Business Innovation Program to deliver the training to small businesses,” he said.

The program is open to all small to medium sized businesses operating within NSW with up to 199 employees, but priority will be given to businesses with fewer than 19 employees

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