Local businesses in Ballarat are benefiting from the Australian Government’s Industry Skills Fund (ISF), which will provide up to 250,000 training places and support services across Australia.

“Gekko Systems is one of a number of Victorian businesses to secure funding under our Government’s $664 million Industry Skills Fund,” said Assistant Minister for Education and Training, Senator Simon Birmingham.

“This funding will help Gekko Systems and associated local businesses develop the skills necessary to support their growth into the Canadian market.

“Another local business, Staley Automation Pty Ltd, has in principle approval for over $82,000 through the ISF to provide accredited industrial automation engineering solutions to firms across the wider geographic region.

“These grants will help local businesses to grow and I encourage other businesses in Ballarat to apply for support to boost the skills of their workforce under the Abbott Government’s new $664 million ISF.”

Independent Senator for Victoria John Madigan said that local Ballarat business Gekko Systems is expanding to design, manufacture and implement a gold processing plant in Canada.

“Gekko Systems have benefited from over $11,000 through the ISF to provide welding training so that its staff meet Canadian Standards Authority requirements,” Senator Madigan said.

Senator Birmingham said the ISF supports micro, small and medium sized businesses to upskill or retrain their workers so those business can diversify or take advantage of new market opportunities. Larger businesses can also apply.

“Free skills advice is also available for micro, small and medium businesses,” he said.

“Experienced advisers will work with eligible businesses to help them understand growth opportunities, and to identify the skills they need to increase competitiveness, as well as the training provider they want to work with.

“With better trained employees, Australian business will be able to diversify into new markets, adopt new technologies, enter export markets and create more jobs.”

Under the Government’s ISF, businesses are required to make a contribution to the cost of training, with the Government covering the rest of the cost. The co-contribution rate depends on the number of employees, with smaller businesses receiving higher levels of support.

For further information on the ISF or to apply, visit: www.business.gov.au/industryskillsfund or call 13 28 46.

Media Contacts:
Caitlin Keage, 0427 729 987 (Birmingham)
Nick Moss, 0417 602 378 (Madigan)