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New partnership to tackle NT skills shortages.

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The Hon Julia Gillard MP

Minister for Education. Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Minister for Social Inclusion. Deputy Prime Minister

The Hon Marion Scrymgour MLA

Deputy Chief Minister, Minister for Employment, Education and Training, Minister for Indigenous Policy, Minister for Arts and Museums

27 October, 2008

Joint Media Release

New partnership to tackle NT skills shortages

Federal Minister for Education, Julia Gillard and Northern Territory Minister for Education and Training, Marion Scrymgour, today announced that the Northern Territory will join the Australian Government in

delivering the Productivity Places Program for existing workers.

By working in partnership the Australian and Northern Territory Governments will be able to target this

national program to meet the needs of Territorians and address skills shortages.

From now until December 2008, the Northern Territory will trial an initiative to deliver 223 new training

places in identified skill shortage areas, with more places expected next year as part of the broader rollout of

the program. This includes 43 health places for national priority health occupations, announced at the COAG

meeting on 3 July 2008.

The Australian and Northern Territory Governments will invest more than half a million dollars ($552 866) to

provide workers in the Northern Territory with the chance to upgrade their skills and gain higher level


The new training places announced today will be targeted to the existing workforce and will be available at the

Certificate III, IV and Diploma levels.

Qualifications will be on offer across a range of industries in the Northern Territory, including the key skills

shortage areas in Nursing and Indigenous Education.

This marks the beginning of the next phase in the rollout of the Productivity Places Program for the Australian


The Australian Government is dedicated to tackling skills shortages across the nation. This announcement is

an important step in delivering more than 700 000 new training places over the next five years for both job

seekers and existing workers.

The Australian Government recently announced that the $2 billion commitment would include 10,000 places

to be allocated as ‘Structural Adjustment Places’ to provide specific retraining opportunities and targeted

support to displaced workers.

In the first six months more than 12 035 job seekers across the nation have completed training under the

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Productivity Places Program and are now beginning to take up jobs in skills shortage areas.

Since 1 April 2008 more than 53 494 job seekers throughout Australia have enrolled in the program, with

more than 44 502 having commenced training.

There are currently 691 Registered Training Organisations participating in Phase II of the job seeker element

of the program, delivering more than 4 165 qualifications from Certificate II to Diploma level.

The Northern Territory Government is to be congratulated on its commitment to the program, and both

governments will work together to tackle skill shortages and improve education and training.

More information on the Productivity Places Program is available at:

Media Contact:

Non-media queries: 1300 363 079

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