26 September 2023

Funding plan to spread infection skills

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The Australian, State and Territory Governments have agreed to jointly invest in a new $80 million infection control training fund.

Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, Senator Michaelia Cash said the fund would support customer-facing businesses to train workers how to minimise the risk of spreading COVID-19 and support them to re-open safely.

Senator Cash said the fund would enable the rollout of new infection control short courses, the first national training product developed by the new Australian Industry Skills Emergency Response Sub-Committee in response to COVID-19.

She said about 80,000 workers across industries including retail, food handling, and transport and logistics would pay no fee or a small fee for training previously only widely available in the health sector.

Additional training would also be available to improve infection control skills in sectors such as aged and disability care.

“With a critical need to keep Australians safe during the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve taken urgent action to provide nationally accredited training to ensure customer-facing workplaces can re-open safely and as quickly as possible,” Senator Cash said.

“This infection control training is designed to empower workers by teaching them the skills and knowledge they need to decrease risk and transmission of infection while carrying out their daily duties.

“The trained workers will help to inspire confidence in their customers while also helping to minimise the risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus as Australia re-opens businesses, rebuilds the workforce and positions for strong and rapid economic recovery.”

Senator Cash said the training would be delivered through State and Territory Governments and be available by 1 July.

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