26 September 2023

Fee-free training for front-line workers

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The Department of Education, Skills and Employment has established a new Infection Control Training Fund to fast-track fee-free (or low cost) infection control training to support the nation-wide re-opening of businesses that face their customers directly.

The Department said the four national infection control skill sets offered nationally recognised training to frontline workers in the retail, food handling and transport and logistics industries.

“These industries will be at the frontline of the first wave of businesses reopening in Australia,” the Department said.

“It is critical that individuals and businesses in these industries are able to demonstrate that they can operate in a way that minimises the risk of community and workplace transmission,” it said.

“The Australian Government is working with the States and Territories to develop a new National Partnership Agreement with matched funding provisions that will see $80 million available to support this critical infection control training,” it said.

The Department said the skill sets were the first national training products developed by the new Australian Industry and Skills Emergency Response Sub-Committee in response to COVID-19.

“Around 80,000 workers will pay no fee or a small fee for training previously only widely available in the health sector,” it said.

“The training is optional, and businesses and workers can choose to participate in training depending on their circumstances.”

The Department said workers would learn hand hygiene practices; effective surface cleaning; use of personal protective equipment; disposal of contaminated waste; hazard identification, control and reporting; appropriate protocols and responses in the event of an incident; and knowledge regarding the basis of infection and transmission.

It said registered training organisations that offered the skill sets could start delivering the training as soon as they had appropriate arrangements in place.

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