Hinchinbrook MP, Andrew Cripps, has urged Palaszczuk Government Ministers to review the Skilling Queenslanders for Work program to ensure training providers delivering real outcomes in North Queensland are not overlooked.

Mr Cripps has written to the Minister for Training and Skills, Yvette D’Ath and the Minister for Employment, Grace Grace, to have a look at the Skilling Queenslanders for Work program to make sure it was as effective as possible.

“It came to my attention that Geoff and Vicki Toomby’s Rural Training Centre at Alive River, near Townsville, was not successful in securing funding through the Palaszczuk Government’s Skilling Queenslanders for Work program” said Mr Cripps.

“I was perplexed by this, because I’m aware of the quality rural training offered by Geoff and Vicki through their Rural Training Centre and I’m also aware of the high percentage of successful graduates who go on to secure employment in the rural sector” he said.

“Geoff and Vicki were disappointed because they have very strong interest in their programs, but because they focus on disadvantaged, wayward and indigenous youth, they need funding from programs like Skilling Queenslanders for Work to make it viable”.

“There is a substantial waiting list of young people anxious to undertake the training and with Townsville facing huge issues with unemployment, especially youth unemployment, knocking back Geoff and Vicki’s application doesn’t make sense to me”.

Mr Cripps said he was prompted to write to the Palaszczuk Government after reading feedback from the Department of Education and Training, that the cost per participant through the Toomby’s Rural Training Centre was considered to be too high.

“This appeared to me to be a very narrow minded and short sighted approach – I would have thought that the program would have looked carefully at the outcomes of individual training programs, to determine if they were getting value for money”.

“Certainly, governments and departments need to spend taxpayers money wisely, but training programs that don’t lead to real jobs are not going to help the community in North Queensland, which is what I think sets Geoff and Vicki’s programs apart”.

Mr Cripps said he had recommended that Minister Grace and Minister D’Ath visit Geoff and Vicki Toomby’s Rural Training Centre to understand why they have a strong track record of training young people who then go on to secure real jobs in the rural sector.

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