TAFE help for BlueScope Steel workers

The Department of Education and Communities has begun an assistance program  to support workers losing their jobs at BlueScope Steel in Wollongong.

NSW Education Minister Adrian Piccoli said the TAFE NSW Illawarra Institute and a team comprising other government agencies are preparing to help on a number of fronts.

"The Institute has a strong history of working with BlueScope in developing its workforce's skills, and it will continue to work with the company in supporting workers' needs and developing new skills to enable them to seek employment," Mr Piccoli said.

"This includes developing news skills that will help displaced workers find new employment."

TAFE NSW Illawarra Institute will continue to:

  • support  approximately 150 BlueScope apprentices in electrotechnology and 50 in engineering trades
     
  • develop strategies to support the workers with a range of organisations, including Job Services Australia Providers 
     
  • work with the region's industries to expand their recognition of employee skills
     
  • provide recognition of prior learning services to  help employees  use existing skills to move into new jobs.

A rapid response team has also been activated by the NSW Government to support affected workers; this includes representatives of the education department's State Training Services, Trade and Investment NSW, the Commonwealth Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, and Centrelink.

"The team will look at opportunities to assess workers' skills, identify local job opportunities and consider the training needed to help workers access those jobs," Mr Piccoli said.

"In addition, State Training Services will support apprentices and trainees through job placement and, where appropriate, the fast tracking of apprentice completions."

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