New fund to connect workers with employers

Queensland Government media release

Industry and community peak bodies can now apply for Palaszczuk Government funding to trial workforce solutions with partner bodies.

Minister for Employment and Small Business Di Farmer said the $20 million Workforce Connect Fund is open now for round one applications.

The fund is a key component of the new Good people. Good jobs: Queensland Workforce Strategy 2022-2032, designed to build a strong and diverse workforce and is part of the $70 million of initiatives in the strategy’s first Action Plan (2022 – 2025).

“A key priority for the Palaszczuk Government is creating good secure jobs in our traditional and emerging industries so we’re already working to the demand for those jobs,” the Minister said.

“Through this fund, we want to make it easier to match employers with the right workers.

“Queensland’s unemployment rate is at record lows and that means we need to make sure we’re working with industry to fill job vacancies.”

Over two years, the new fund will invest in projects that develop and implement innovative strategies and services that support the attraction and retention of employees.

For example, peak bodies will be able to connect to industries to new groups of potential jobseekers that haven’t traditionally been a source of employees or to deliver new innovative coaching or mentoring services that help retain employees.

“We want to enable all Queenslanders to secure the work they want, support employers to develop inclusive work practices and grow a more diverse workforce,” the Minister said.

Minister Farmer said all projects must have a strong focus on connections and community engagement.

“Under the Workforce Connect Fund, small businesses will also soon be able to apply for grants of up to $5,000 for new and innovative human resources solutions to support their businesses.”

It is anticipated that industry-based workforce advisors will be established in the coming months, and once they hit the ground, they’ll be able to start working with small businesses to identify these solutions and assist small businesses to apply for these grants.

The first round of Workforce Connect Fund grants opens to industry and community peak bodies in Queensland today and will remain open until 25 November 2022. Find out more about the fund.

The level of funding will depend on the nature of each project and will be capped at $1 million per project.